Worcester’s MP Robin Walker has welcomed figures showing record wage growth for Worcester workers – with local earnings now ahead of both regional and national averages.

Figures released in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings show that wages in Worcester are now higher than ever, with gross weekly pay surpassing the West Midlands average for the sixth consecutive year, and accelerating past the rising national average.

Full-time workers in the city are now seeing average weekly earnings of £545.90, a 12.9% increase since 2010. Hourly rates have also kept up with this trend, with an average of £13.74 in Worcester. This follows a trend of consistent wage growth nationally, with average wages including bonuses growing by 2.6% over the last year, while the number of people claiming benefits fell by 42,000 on the quarter to 2.1% – the lowest rate since 1974.

Official figures show that there are over 300,000 more people in work compared to the same time last year, and the number of women in work has risen to a record rate of 70.0%.

The latest statistics also show that unemployment continues to run at an 11-year low of just 4.8%, down by more than 900,000 since 2010.

The news comes ahead of the Government’s planned increases in both the National Minimum Wage, and National Living Wage in April – bringing much needed wage increases for the lowest-paid workers. It also follows the announcement by Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Damian Green, that the number of children living in workless households is at the lowest level since records began. 9 in every 10 children now live with at least one working adult, with less than 15% of households nationally now classed as workless.

Commenting on the positive figures, Robin said:

“The continued growth in wages is tremendous news for Worcester, especially combined with February’s strong employment figures.”

“It is a clear indication that this Government continues to provide the strong leadership needed steer our economy in the right direction, with wages continuing to rise above inflation – meaning more money in the pockets of hard working families.”

“We are also focused on supporting the lowest paid workers and helping more and more people into employment. With the rise in National Minimum and Living Wages coming in April, and the continued efforts to return fairness to the heart of the benefit system, the Government is overseeing reform of an economy that works for everyone.”

“The strength of the UK labour market is something we should take great pride in. As part of our one nation Government, we want everyone to succeed and achieve their full potential.”

“I am confident that the Chancellor’s Spring Budget this week will continue to support local businesses and workers, and help keep our economy match-fit for the future.”

 

 

Notes to editors

Data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2016 can be found at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/annualsurveyofhoursandearnings/previousReleases

Further information on the record decrease in workless households can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/children-living-in-workless-households-at-lowest-level-since-records-began

Further information on the record high in the employment rate can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/employment-hits-highest-rate-since-records-began

For Robin’s previous statements on wages in Worcester:

https://www.walker4worcester.com/conservatives-give-big-boost-to-the-lowest-paid-in-worcester-as-national-living-wage-begins/

https://www.walker4worcester.com/raising-wages-and-cutting-tax-is-better-than-complex-and-expensive-redistribution/

https://www.walker4worcester.com/today-marks-the-first-step-to-a-higher-wage-and-a-higher-productivity-economy/

https://www.walker4worcester.com/wages-are-rising-as-unemployment-falls-and-worcester-woman-is-leading-the-way/