Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, has welcomed a hugely positive month for jobs in the city in August, as youth unemployment locally dropped to the second-lowest level on record at 1.7%.
The release of the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show the jobless rate among 18-24-year olds in Worcester is 195 – only 5 higher than December 2015’s record low of 190, the lowest figure since monthly unemployment records for the city began in 1992. August’s figure also marks the first time on record that the youth unemployment rate has matched the lows seen in overall adult unemployment which also stands at 1.7%.
When Robin first took office as Worcester’s MP in May 2010, the youth unemployment rate stood at 6.3% for the previous month, and had reached record highs of 7.2% the previous summer – a shocking indictment of Labour’s record on jobs and opportunities for young people in the city.
Under successive Conservative-led governments since 2010, apprenticeship starts have passed 6,000 in Worcester, nearly double the amount created in the last seven years of the previous Labour government.
Nationally, the UK saw a sixth continuous month of real terms pay increases in August, with regular wages up by 2.9% in July, or 0.5% against CPIH inflation. Meanwhile, 1.45 million more children are living in a home with all adults in work, and the proportion of children living in a household with no working adults has fallen by 33% in the UK since 2010, reaching a record low and taking tens of thousands of children out of poverty.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said:
“Since 2010 we have delivered significant growth in jobs, and in the last 6 months we’ve seen real terms wage growth.”
“We haven’t had a lower unemployment rate for over 40 years and I’m especially proud that youth unemployment is at a record low, falling by over 45% since 2010 – opening up career opportunities for our next generation.”
Commenting on August’s figures, Robin said:
“These are among the best youth unemployment figures we have ever seen in Worcester, with the rate having fallen by 75% since their record highs back in 2009. The growth in apprenticeships has been one factor in our success in bringing the jobless rate down, but I want to make sure that both Government and business are doing all they can to create new opportunities for young people, which is why I was glad to hear this week that the Careers and Enterprise Company will be working with the LEP to improve careers advice in local schools, and met with Worcester secondary school headteachers yesterday to further these plans.”
“Tomorrow will see the 5th annual Worcestershire Festival of Business, a celebration of the enterprise and entrepreneurship in our county. The event has been organised by #WorcestershireHour, the extraordinarily successful weekly Twitter networking session, and I look forward to meeting a number of local employers there to discuss how we can keep up this record run of job creation.”
Notes to editors
For the latest employment statistics for Worcester, please see:
For more of Robin’s recent statements on employment, see:
For details on the Worcestershire Festival of Business, see https://worcestershirehour.co.uk/festival-business-2018/