UK unemployment and gender pay gap falls as wages rise
This week, Robin Walker, Worcester’s MP has welcomed the local figures for unemployment
in May which are the lowest since monthly records began in 2006 and show a significant fall
from 2,545 in April 2010 to 1,178 in April 2015 just before the election to a new low of 1,137
this month, The rate of unemployment in Worcester is well below 2%, at a rate that is
internationally recognised as representing full employment. However Robin has expressed
his determination to see it fall still further and his support for more initiatives to increase
apprenticeships and drive down youth unemployment.
Worcestershire has seen unemployment fall by more than two thirds since its peak with the
county publishing figures which show claimant numbers at 4,385, a reduction of 8,884 since
it peaked in August 2009 and youth unemployment fell by 100 to just 1,025.
Alongside the strong local figures it is also worth taking account of some of the startling
national figures – Overall UK unemployment has fallen again while wage growth has hit a
near four-year high. The number of people out of work between February and April fell by
43,000 to 1.81 million, the Office for National Statistics said. The jobless rate held steady at
5.5%, the lowest level since August 2008.
Meanwhile wage rises grew at their fastest rate since August 2011, rising 2.7%, both
including and excluding bonuses. The wage increase compares to CPI inflation of just 0.1%
according to the ONS in its latest monthly bulletin and this means that real wages are rising.
The figures show wage rises at their highest level in seven years, more people finding jobs,
with 2 million more people in work since 2010, and a record number of women in
This means more families have the security of a good job and a regular pay packet – due to
the hard work and the determination of the British people, the dynamic growth of British
businesses as well as the strong leadership and clear economic plan that this Government
has been delivering.
Detailed figures prepared by the Government Equalities Office, where Robin is now a PPS
on the gender pay gap also show that the UK gender pay gap is at its lowest level in years
having fallen from 20% in 2013 to 19.3% in 2014, Worcester is leading the way with a
gender pay gap much lower at 12.6% whilst across the County it is 18.1%, still better than
the national average.
Other important national statistics include:
1,000 jobs have been created every day on average since Labour were in power.
The private sector has created over 2.4 million jobs since Labour were in power.
There are more women in work than ever before.
The number of young people without a job has fallen by 199,000 over the last year.
The proportion of the workforce claiming benefits because they are unemployed is at its
lowest level since 1975.
Over the last year 85 per cent of the jobs created have been full-time.
Over three-quarters of the rise in employment over the past year has been outside
London and the South East.
Around one in 50 people in work are on zero-hours contracts. Unlike the last Labour
Government, who did nothing, this Conservative Government has taken action to clamp
down on abuses by banning exclusivity contracts.
The most comprehensive measure of living standards, which takes account of tax cuts,
shows living standards are higher now than in 2010 – with the average household
forecast to be £900 better off in 2015 than in 2010.
“Today’s figures confirm that our long-term economic plan is already starting to deliver a
better, more prosperous future for the whole of the country, with wages rising, more people
finding jobs and more women in work than ever before. It is really important that we are
seeing wages rise faster than inflation and the gender pay gap lower than ever before. I am
very glad as the new PPS to the Secretary of State for Women and Equalities to see that
Worcester is doing even better than the national trend in reducing this gap. Worcester
woman has been famous in the past and perhaps she can lead the way in achieving equal
Notes to editors:
For more information on the national employment figures see:
For detailed information on the gender pay gap see:
For full details of the latest claimant count in Worcester see:
For Robin’s last commentary on jobs and unemployment in April see:
Robin recently welcomed the impact of the Employment Allowance which has helped over
1,300 firms in Worcester employ people
He also recently welcomed a Business Minister to Worcester to meet with local businesses
and hear how they could be helped to expand and take on more workers
For his commentary on the previous month’s job figures and links to previous commentary
on unemployment in Worcester see: