Local MP Robin Walker has welcomed the release of December’s employment figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which show joblessness in Worcester remaining below 1,000 for the 6th consecutive month – a record run of such low unemployment in the city.

At 970 – or 1.5% of the working-age population – the city’s unemployment figure remains at a near all-time low, and it is the first time on record that the number has remained below 1,000 for such a sustained period. Youth unemployment in the city remained at 205 in December – the lowest it has been in two years.

Nationally, the employment rate is at a joint record high of 75.3%, with a record 32.2 million people in work. This is a rise of 415,000 compared to last year’s figures. Unemployment remains at its lowest level since 1975.

In 2017, at least 10 employment records were broken. The employment rate and the number of people in work, the number of women in work and black and minority ethnic employment all reached record highs during the year.

Today’s employment figures also show:

  • there are a record 810,000 vacancies in the economy at any one time
  • the number of people in employment has increased by over 3 million since 2010
  • the UK has the third highest employment rate in the G7
  • the number of workers aged 50 plus has reached a record 10 million
  • youth unemployment has fallen by over 40% since 2010

Separate figures also released today show there are 700,000 people claiming Universal Credit as the rollout of the new benefit continues, with 42% in employment.

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

“We had a record-breaking 2017 for employment, and I’m delighted to see this trend continue as we enter the new year.”

“The number of people in work is at an all-time high and the unemployment rate has not been this low for over 40 years.”

Commenting on December’s figures, Robin said:

“It is really positive news to see these figures rounding off a record-breaking year for employment in Worcester. A continuation of the jobless rate below 1,000 for the 6th month in a row and, crucially, ending the year with the lowest youth unemployment rate since the beginning of 2016 are both examples of a trend I hope to see continuing into 2018. With a record number of job vacancies open, the Conservatives will continue to work to make sure that our economy remains strong so we can create the better, higher-paying jobs that people need.”

“A number of employers both large and small – including Gtech, Waitrose, PCA Predict, Asda, and Iapetus – have moved to Worcester since 2010, and a great many more existing local businesses have expanded and taken on more workers, such as Worcester Bosch, Titania, Sanctuary and Harrison Clark Rickerbys. Creating the right conditions for businesses to thrive is key to driving up productivity – of which Worcestershire has seen some of the fastest growth in the country – and creating secure, well-paid work.”

“More and more people are getting into secure and full-time work and we are determined to help people keep more of that they earn. To this end, the Government has increased the National Living Wage, offered greater flexibility and support back into work through Universal Credit, and taken millions of people out of income tax altogether by raising the tax-free personal allowance.”


Notes to editors

For the latest employment figures, please see: https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/reports/lmp/wpca/1929380363/report.aspx#tabwab

For Robin’s previous statements on employment, see: