Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed the news that the city’s unemployment rate remained at 1.5% in January, marking the 10th consecutive month since joblessness has been at that figure or below. It is now almost 3 years since Worcester’s unemployment rate went above 1.6% – a record run of sustained strength in the city’s labour market.

At 1,025, January’s jobless figure is up slightly on the previous month although this is in keeping with the trends of previous years as some people move out of seasonal work. The unprecedented run of low unemployment continues unabated, however, with January marking the 32nd month in a row in which unemployment has been below 1.7%. In contrast, under the previous Labour government unemployment in Worcester was never maintained at this low a level for more than 3 months at a time.

At 1.5%, the local unemployment rate has fallen by 61% since Robin was first elected MP in 2010 when joblessness stood at 2,700 and had been as high as 4.2% in February of that year. Since then there has been a consistent decline in the figures as Conservative-led governments have brought about fundamental improvements to the welfare system and addressed Labour’s mismanagement of the economy, with productivity now growing at the fastest rate in six years.

Nationally the jobs revival continues, with January’s figures showing:

  • There are 32.15million people in work; 321,000 more than a year earlier.
  • The number of people in employment has increased by over 3 million since 2010 – more than the combined population of the cities of Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast.
  • Employment in higher-skilled jobs has risen by 1.96million since 2010.
  • There are nearly 3.5million disabled people in employment – an increase of 235,000 in the last two years.
  • The ethnic minority employment rate, at 64.8%, is the highest since figures have been compiled.

Minister for Employment Alok Sharma said:

“High employment rates are a reliable feature of today’s economy – and this is an incredible achievement. It is equally important that across society everyone has the opportunity to get a good job and get on in life.”

“Today’s figures show that this government is building a fairer economy that supports people from all backgrounds to get into work. We are closing the BAME and gender employment gaps, and people across the country are accessing new opportunities.”

Commenting on January’s figures, Robin said:

“I am very glad to see Worcester’s record run of low unemployment continue for the 32nd month in a row. Although there has been a very slight rise in the figures from December, this is typical for January as some people come to the end of seasonal Christmas employment.”

“What is remarkable is the stability and consistency of such low unemployment in Worcester that has continued uninterrupted for almost 3 years – the first time since records began that such a record has been maintained. What’s more, the youth unemployment count in the city remains below 2%, as it has for a year now. I want to see these trends continue to fall, and with the economy growing and businesses investing in their long-term future here – in recent weeks we’ve seen GTech announce a new production site in Worcester that will bring over 100 jobs, for example – I have little doubt that employment will remain high in Worcester.”

“In addition, it is fantastic to see the disability employment gap continue to narrow as this is something I have long pressed for a greater focus on, having held events in the constituency to bring disabled jobseekers and local employers together to learn more about what each can offer.”


Notes to editors

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

For Robin’s previous statements on employment in the city, please see: