Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker, has welcomed continuing strong job figures for the city despite a small month on month increase from April to May. He has pointed out that many local businesses are holding their breath in the run up to the referendum on the 23rd June and that major local employers such as Worcester Bosch and Yamazaki Mazak have made it clear that they hope for a remain vote as well as the opportunities to create new jobs in Worcester through the launch of the Worcester six tech park, which will succeed better if Worcester and the UK continues to attract inward investment.
At just over 1000, the figure for local unemployment, including everyone on JSA and Universal Credit stands just ten higher than the month before and at its sixth lowest level in the last five years, 150 higher than the all-time record low it reached in December 2015 and down 135 on one year ago, 510 on two years ago and 1,535 from the date of the 2010 General Election.
Youth unemployment remained at the same level as the month before at 215, down more than two thirds from its peak in Worcester at 805 and close to the all-time record low it hit in December 2015 of 185, down from 295 one year ago, 385 two years ago and 710 at the time of the 2010 General Election.
Wages have also continued to increase with the latest figures for Worcester suggesting that between 2011 and 2015 gross weekly pay in Worcester rose from £457 to £498.70 or around 9%. The latest national figures show unemployment at its lowest level on record, below 5% and employment hitting a new record high of 74.2% as well as wage growth of 2.3% for the current year.
There are a record 31.6 million people in work, 461,000 more than this time year and the number of people in full time work has risen by 1.9 million since 2010.
Commenting on these figures Robin said:
“It is a remarkable achievement that our country has hit its highest level of employment and its lowest level of youth unemployment and something that everyone should be able to celebrate. To have seen Worcester go from the high levels of unemployment it experienced during Labour’s great recession to the improved situation we see today has been a real joy but the job of creating and supporting prosperity is never finished. I know that there are businesses holding off investment decisions and waiting to see what happens with the referendum next week and this will have had an impact on the latest figures.”
“I want to see every person in Worcester who wants a job to have one and I am convinced that our ability to attract investment from around the UK, from Europe and from further afield strengthens our ability to achieve that. So many jobs in Worcester are dependent on such investment and I fear, not that they would all be at risk, but that they might grow more slowly if we were to leave the European Union. I don’t want to take that risk. I also think that we could see a boost in investment and a relief rally for our economy if people choose to remain, which would be very welcome.”
“For those that argue that somehow the EU holds us back, it must be inexplicable that we are currently seeing the lowest unemployment in the history of our country. It must be hard for them to explain that wages are rising faster than inflation and that new jobs with higher skills are being created week by week with more and more apprentices embracing them. I want to continue the progress we have seen in Worcester and I believe the best way to do that is to reject the gloom and fear of UKIP and embrace the opportunities of staying in a reformed EU where the UK, set to be the largest, most successful economy in it, can call the shots.”
Notes to editors:
Key national figures published today include:
- Employment:6 million (up 55,000 over the past three months and up 2.5 million since 2010).
- Employment rate:2 per cent (up 0.8 points over the past year and up 4 points since 2010).
- Unemployment:67 million (down 148,000 over the past year and down 839,000 since 2010).
- Unemployment rate: 5 per cent (down 0.5 points over the past year and down 2.9 points since 2010).
- Claimant count (Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit not in work): 746,100 in May (down 47,900 on last year and down 748,700 since 2010).
- Wages: Pay before bonuses pay rose 2.3 per cent over the last year with private sector pay up 2.4 per cent. Annual inflation over the same period was close to flat.
- The rate of employment is 74.2 – a record high.
- The Claimant count rate is close to its lowest level in over 40 years.
- The unemployment rate is 5 per cent – the lowest in a decade.
- The number of people on out-of-work benefits (3.64 million people) is close to lowest for over 30 years – down over 1.1 million on May 2010.
- In Q4 2015, the UK saw the largest annual growth (+1 per cent) in the employment rate in the G7.
- With a million more women in work since 2010, the female employment rate remains at a record high of 69.2 per cent.
- Private sector employment is at a record high of over 26.2 million.
- The proportion of under-25s who are unemployed and not in full time education is at 5.6 per cent – matching the lowest proportion on record.
- The number of people unemployed for over a year has fallen by almost a quarter in the last year to 462,000 – down 19,000 on the quarter, 114,000 on the year and 326,000 since 2010.
- Vacancies were at 749,000 in the three months to May, up 17,000 on the year and 282,000 since 2010.
For the latest information on Worcester’s employment figures see:
For Robin’s previous commentary on the EU Referendum Jobs & investment see:
For his article on Britain leading rather than leaving see:
For his previous commentary on jobs and apprenticeships in Worcester see: