Number of working people in Wakefield is on the rise


The employment rate in Wakefield has increased over the past year, as the Government hails record highs across the UK.

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that the number of people in either part-time or full-time employment in Wakefield rose to 74.1% between April 2017 and March 2018.

This was an increase of 0.6 percentage points from the previous year, when the rate was at 73.5%.

It comes as the Government celebrated record high employment for the UK in the latest quarterly national figures, which cover the period from March to May.

These show employment across the country rising to 75.7%, up by 0.8 percentage points from the same quarter a year ago.

Though local employment figures are released simultaneously with the national statistics, they only cover the 12 months to March.

In that 12 month period, national employment was 74.8%, putting Wakefield 0.7 percentage points below the national average.

The working-age population is grouped into three categories by the ONS - employed, unemployed or economically inactive.

This third category includes people who are not looking for a job, such as students or people with an illness or disability.

Of the approximately 212,000-strong working age population - those aged between 16 and 64 - in Wakefield in 2017/18, 158,000 were employed.

The unemployment rate was 4.9% - down from 5.1% the previous year - while the number of economically inactive people was 21%.

This was a decrease of 1.1 percentage points on the previous year.

In Yorkshire and the Humber as a whole, 73.5% of people were employed in 2017/18, up from 72.8% the previous year.

Across Britain the employment rate ranged from a low of 60.8% for the small residential population of the City of London to a high of 91.3% in Dartford, Kent.

Regionally, the area with the lowest rate of employment and the highest rate of unemployment was the North East -71% and 5.5% respectively.

The South East had the highest employment, at 78.5%, while the lowest unemployment rate was in the South West, at 3.3%.

Despite high overall employment, almost every region saw an increase in the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits such as Job Seeker's Allowance. Some employed people are able to claim these benefits as well, if they work less than 16 hours per week and are on a low income.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said: "The employment rate is now at a record high of 75.7%.

"With over 3.3 million more people in work since 2010, this Government has seen on average 1,000 more people in work each and every day.

"Making sure our jobs market works for everyone is at the heart of this department's work and the modern industrial strategy, and with over 800,000 job vacancies we have a buoyant jobs market with plenty of opportunities available."