The latest UK jobs figures were announced this week and it’s great to see Devon and the South West continue to lead the way.
The main takeaways, nationally, are that the employment rate is at a joint record high, the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since 1974, there are more women in work than ever before and average weekly earnings have increased by 3.3% in the last year.
Encouragingly for us, the South West has the highest employment rate (79.6%) of any UK region as well as the lowest unemployment rate (2.4%).
Devon has seen some very positive figures. For example, Exeter (45%), East Devon (34%), Totnes (32%), South West Devon (30%), Central Devon (29%), Torbay (26%), Plymouth Moor View (24%), Torridge and West Devon (22%) and Tiverton and Honiton (20%) are among the areas that have seen big drops in the number of people claiming key out-of-work benefits since 2010.
This shows the government’s reforms and sensible approach to the economy are working.
It’s important to remember that behind every employment number is a person whose self-esteem, mental wellbeing, economic circumstances and life chances are all vastly improved by being in the workplace.
Peter Booth Chairman, South West Conservatives