WAGES in Wirral are among the highest in the Northwest, with workers earning an average of £32,300 a year – more than in Liverpool, Manchester, Preston and West Lancashire.

Figures released today by ManpowerGroup show Wirral boasts the ninth best wages in the region, with the average annual salary £2,400 more than the Northwest average.

ManpowerGroup’s analysis – based on the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings from the Office of National Statistics – also shows a huge gap between the best and worst paid full-time workers in the region, with people living in Trafford the best paid, earning up to £15,000 more than those living in Blackpool.

People living in Trafford earn £37,700 annually, whereas workers living in Blackpool receive an average of £22,300 per annum.

Average annual pay for those living in the region rose 0.4% between 2013 and 2014 – slower than the rate of increase in the UK as a whole, where pay rose 0.6%. At an average of £29,900, annual pay in the Northwest is more than £3,000 lower than the UK average of £33,500.

However, the Northwest’s major cities have seen sharp increases in average earnings. Manchester and Liverpool have seen full-time pay rise by more than 3% since 2013, four times faster than the national average and around seven times faster than the Northwest region as a whole.

The cities are almost neck and neck in the pay stakes but, with average annual full-time pay of £29,200 compared with Manchester’s £28,900, Liverpool is slightly ahead.

Greg Hollis, operations manager at Manpower, said: “Manufacturing has long been a key part of the Northwest’s jobs economy, and the increasingly skilled nature of manufacturing work has had a profound impact on pay in the region.

“As the industrial processes carried out by employers in the region have become more complex, so the salaries have risen in line with the level of specialist skills required.

ManpowerGroup’s analysis has revealed a marked and increasing pay gap between the region’s men and women. Average pay per hour for men in full-time work rose 0.9% to £15.47 whereas women in full-time work saw their pay fall 0.1%, to £13.40.

The growing pay divide means that men in full-time work are now paid on average 15% more per hour than women.