People don’t feel pay rewards workplace efforts, report on industrial strategy reveals

A growing disconnect between people’s efforts at the workplace and how well they feel their bosses reward them risks stalling Government’s industrial strategy, a report issued today by Localis has argued.

Exclusive polling undertaken by YouGov for Localis showed exactly half of those surveyed felt they were paid less than they deserved, a third (31%) paid roughly the right amount and 7% felt overpaid. The polling figures also indicated nearly two thirds (61%) of people felt unrewarded for hard work.

The findings are contained in a report entitled ‘The Delivery of an Industrial Strategy – Raising prosperity across England’ which examines how strategic authorities, such as Mayoral Combined Authorities and county councils, can take the industrial strategy forward at a local level to raise local prosperity and living standards.

The report includes analysis which finds the relationship between productivity and wages varies significantly across the country. The report finds the five worst areas for wage growth relative to productivity growth in England over the last five years were:

  • Hounslow (London) – 55 percent increase in productivity, 11 percent rise in wages
  • Mendip (Somerset)  – 22 percent increase in productivity, 10 percent drop in wages
  • Camden (London) – 33 percent increase in productivity, 2 percent rise in wages
  • Rushmoor (Hampshire)– 19 percent increase in productivity, 12 percent drop in wages
  • Three Rivers (Hertfordshire) – 37 percent increase in productivity, 7 percent rise in wages

By contrast, residents of the following five areas received the greatest increase in wage growth relative to gains in local productivity:

  • North Dorset – 8.8 percent increase in productivity, 31.3 percent rise in wages
  • Weymouth and Portland (Dorset) – 0.7 percent increase in productivity, 19 percent rise in wages
  • Wyre (Lancashire) – 3.7 percent increase in productivity, 18% increase in wages
  • East Dorset – 9.5 percent increase in productivity, 21.2 percent increase in wages
  • East Devon – 11 percent increase in productivity, 22 percent increase in wages

The report also argues Government’s choice to focus attention and resources for industrial strategy on three of the most-advanced areas of England – Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and the Oxford-Cambridge corridor – risks neglecting the economic fortunes of the bulk of England, including parts of the country being left behind by the rest of the economy.

The report is a follow up to last year’s report ‘The Making of an Industrial Strategy’ which found areas in more than two-thirds of England lacked governance structures with the strength and capacity to help deliver the Government’s national Industrial Strategy.

Jack Airey, head of research at Localis, said: “These figures show too often the relationship between the individual and the economy is broken, or seen to be broken, and too often works disproportionately better for some than others.

“Across the world, recent votes against the status-quo suggests this to be politically unsustainable for mainstream politics. Tackling many peoples’ estrangement with the economy should be a primary aim of current and future governments.”

Cllr Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council, said: “The Local Industrial Strategy is an opportunity to re-connect employers and employees to local growth and for government and counties to work together in new and creative ways relevant to local business.

“In planning for new jobs and homes, successful Local Industrial Strategies must attract new local investment and connect local people and places – with their impressive track record of enabling economic growth, Counties must be at the heart of these plans.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, deputy leader Essex County Council and cabinet member for economic growth and infrastructure, said: “Local Industrial Strategies will outline the opportunities we have to equip our localities for the future, as part of the next industrial revolution.  We will ensure individuals and places benefit from increased productivity, not just for the benefit of Essex, but for the wider economy as a whole.

“We have a number of opportunities across the county; including through the North Essex Garden Communities, and in the south with the Association of South Essex Local Authorities.  As the Government highlighted, our opportunity around the life sciences in Harlow –  as referenced in the Industrial Strategy White Paper – will create one of the world’s largest health innovation hubs.  Attracting international and national companies, this will help Essex, and the UK, become a global leader.

“We believe that the strategic authorities, such as county councils, have a central role in supporting the delivery of the industrial strategy.  We look forward to working with Government on this in future.”