Worcester MP hails employment figures and celebrates Disability Confident initiative

Worcester MP, Robin Walker, has welcomed a positive month for employment rates in the city this October as there was a 1.7% decrease in the claimant count, and Worcester has maintained an unemployment rate of 1.7% or below since April 2015.

In a further boost to the economy and consumer spending, wage growth outpaced inflation for an eighth month in a row, rising 0.9% in real terms (against CPIH inflation). Regular pay before inflation grew at its fastest in almost a decade, 3.2%.

The UK’s unemployment rate has also nearly halved since 2010, now at 4.1%. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics also revealed the employment rate remains high, at 75.5%, with a record number of people in employment – and over 3.3 million more people in work since 2010.

Figures also show three quarters of jobs created since 2010 are full time, permanent roles that are in higher skilled occupations, which typically bring higher earnings – all ambitions of the government’s Industrial Strategy which seeks to create better, well-paying jobs fit for the future.

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.

These employment figures are especially welcomed today as Britain celebrates Purple Tuesday, an inclusive initiative highlighting the huge potential of disabled consumers’ £249bn spending power, and as new figures show more than half of disabled people are now in work, outnumbering those who are workless.

Robin praised the great news that 973,000 more disabled people are now in work than in 2013, and noted the anniversary of the Disability Confident scheme which exists to challenge negative attitudes to disability and target employers to make them aware of the business benefits of employing disabled people.

Robin said:

“I am pleased that Worcester continues to maintain consistently low unemployment rates, with October being the 42nd consecutive month that we’ve seen the city’s jobless rate at 1.7% or below. The recent Budget contained various measures to assist with the cost of living, and the positive wage growth we’ve seen today will further help to boost people’s pay packets.

As the UK celebrates the anniversary of Disability Confident, there has been a marked increase in disability employment opportunities, with 973,000 more disabled people in work since 2013. Having hosted a number of Disability Confident events in Worcester, I warmly welcome this news.”

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said:

“Since 2010, employment has risen and unemployment has fallen in every single region of the UK. And with an average of 1,000 people moving into work each and every day, and three quarters of all new jobs in permanent, full time and high skilled roles, this shows our welfare reforms are working and delivering for people across the country.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For the latest employment statistics for Worcester, please see:

For more of Robin’s recent statements on employment, see:

For more information on Purple Tuesday please see: