Academics from the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD) will present their analysis of the links between Welsh speakers and the labour market today (Tuesday 16th April 2013).

Following previous research that indicates there may be a labour market advantage for speakers of minority languages, evidence in support of this has been found for Welsh speakers in Wales in terms of employment and earnings.   

Dr Robin Mann and Dr Stephen Drinkwater will present their research in this area at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay as part of the Unequal Wales Seminar Series.

 ‘Various explanations have been suggested including educational policies and higher attainment, increased cognitive ability, bilingual policies in the workplace, employment shifts following economic restructuring and better networks and information flows’ explains Dr Drinkwater.  ‘The presentation will examine the labour market differences between Welsh and non-Welsh speakers by extending and updating the existing literature.’

Using a combined approach for the analysis of the Annual Population Survey (APS) and WISERD stakeholder data, and distinguishing between labour market differences within the public and private sectors, Dr Drinkwater and Dr Mann will conclude that Welsh speakers have a significant wage premium in the public sector but that the pay gap narrows after taking account of differences in personal characteristics, especially educational qualifications.  In contrast, the average earnings of Welsh speakers are lower than those of non-Welsh speakers in the private sector, which partly reflects the younger age profile of Welsh speakers working in this sector.     

The Unequal Wales Seminar Series, hosted by Wales Governance Centre and WISERD, brings leading academics together to explore the patterns of economic and social inequality in contemporary Wales.


Notes to editors

About the Wales institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
WISERD is a collaborative venture between the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Glamorgan and Swansea.  The strategic aim of WISERD is to establish itself as a sustainable research institute built on the active engagement of social science staff from across the Welsh HE sector and the involvement of a complex set of audiences/users in the public and private sectors.


The seminar will take place at 5.45pm on Tuesday 16th April at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay and is open to all.

To attend or to interview Dr Drinkwater and /or Dr Mann, please contact:

WISERD Communications Team
Telephone: 029 2087 0026