MPs give mixed reaction to survey which says productivity and wages are low (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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MPs give mixed reaction to survey which says productivity and wages are low
New statistics reveal Yorkshire has the worst labour productivity rate in the country, with some of the lowest wages and a higher than average unemployment.
But the region also has a lower crime rate than many areas and has some of the UK’s lowest house prices.
Bradford’s MPs yesterday gave a mixed response to figures released by the Office of National Statistics, which give a snapshot of how the region compares to other parts of the country.
The information shows Yorkshire’s labour productivity in 2011 – calculated by looking at its economic output per the number of hours worked – was 12 points below the national average score of 100.
The average weekly earnings for full-time adult workers was £465, compared with £502 nationally, with a gross disposable income per household of £13,800 per head – £2,200 less than the average for England.
The unemployment rate stood at 8.9 per cent in the second quarter of this year, compared with 7.8 per cent for the UK.
And the percentage of the region’s population aged 16 to 64 with no qualifications in 2012 was 11.5 per cent, compared with 9.9 per cent for the UK as a whole.
Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway said there was a “depressing inevitability” about the figures.
“If you have some of the poorest schools in the country, as we do, then you send out kids unqualified for the few decently-paid jobs that exist,” he said.
“The majority of jobs available are low-paid and the current unemployment rate in Bradford West is a smidgen off 12 per cent, almost double the national average.
“So in an economically depressed area with high unemployment it follows that wages and house prices will suffer and productivity will be low.”
But Bradford East MP David Ward said the future in Bradford looked “brighter” than it has for a long time.
“Enormous efforts are being made in Bradford to develop the skills we need as we emerge from the recession,” he added.
“The latest Regional Econometric Model (REM) has revised upwards Bradford’s growth forecast for the local economy and the forecast for the growth in total employment is set to outpace the region as a whole over the next seven years.
“We can never relax our efforts but the future for Bradford looks brighter than it has for many years.”
Other figures published yesterday revealed other facts about life in Yorkshire.
The region was the only area in the country where house prices fell from June 2012-13 – by 0.2 per cent – and the average house price was among the lowest in the country, at £164,000 compared with £251,000 for England.
The regional life expectancy at birth from 2009 to 2011 was slightly lower than England’s average, with men living to an average age of 78.1 and women 82.
Across the country, life expectancy stood at 78.9 years for men and 82.0 for women.
Meanwhile, the level of crime in Yorkshire was similar to the average for England.
In 2012-13 there were an estimated 216 crimes against households committed per 1,000 households, compared with 217 crimes per 1,000 households across the country.
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