Poor but happy?

Economy A family sitting on a sofa
NewsJuly 2nd, 2013

The Bevan Foundation was delighted to partner with the Welsh Institute for Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) to launch a major report on work, skills and well-being in Wales.  

The results show that workers in Wales are happier than they are elsewhere in Britain, despite jobs being lower paid and less skilled.  

Professor Alan Felstead, School of Social Sciences, said: “Work in Wales remains poorly paid and lowly skilled.  Once in a job, workers in Wales fear that it would be difficult to find a job as good as the one they currently have and that comparable alternatives are fewer and far between.  As a result, workers are more satisfied and happier with their jobs compared to workers in more prosperous areas where alternative jobs of the same quality are more plentiful.”

The researchers also note that workers in Wales are more optimistic about keeping their jobs compared to those working elsewhere.  “With the Welsh economy more dependent on the public sector, the effects of the austerity measures have yet to be fully felt,” says Rhys Davies, co-author of the reports.  “Once they are, the mood of workers in Wales may change drastically and leave us with less to cheer about.”

Bevan Foundation director, Victoria Winckler, was the discussant at the report launch. She said “We were delighted to work with WISERD to raise awareness of the research findings. The issues are critical to hundreds of thousands of people and we need policy makers to take note and take action.

Copies of the research reports are available via Cardiff University’s website.  

BBC Wales’s coverage of the report is available here, and you can listen to BBC Wales’s Good Morning Wales programme’s interview with Prof Felstead here.  


Search and filter the archive using any of the following fields:

  • Choose Type:

  • Choose Focus:

  • Choose Tag: