Recently published figures show a huge fall in average annual earnings in the Redcar and Cleveland area.
Earnings for 2006 are nearly 10% down on 2005, one of the worst declines in the country.
The national picture shows a 4% increase meaning that people in Redcar and Cleveland have fallen dramatically behind. Average earnings at £18,556 are now 26% behind the average for England of £25,008.
Commenting on the figures Ian Swales, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Redcar, said, "this shows just how much damage is being done to the local economy by job losses at the major employers. Good quality jobs are not being replaced and too many people are being forced into low paid work or Government schemes. The picture for the rest of the Tees Valley and the North East as a whole is also poor. This is more data to show that the North South gap is widening.
With the South East suffering from chronic housing shortages it's time that our local MP's attracted the well paid Government jobs to the area that they have been promising. Gordon Brown first spoke about this nearly ten years ago but so far there has been little sign of any movement that would benefit our area".
Quote from the website of Vera Baird MP for Redcar "The Government has plans to move well paid civil service jobs out of London which will create more opportunities. "
The figures are taken from the Office of National Statistics. See attached spreadsheet.
The only areas in the country showing a bigger decline are Christchurch, Mole Valley, Melton and Scarborough.