Employment up, but it’s not all good news

File photo dated 16/09/14 of Jobcentre Plus entrance as unemployment has continued to fall, down to a near seven-year low, while a record number of people are in work. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday February 18, 2015. The jobless total dipped by 97,000 in the quarter to last December to 1.86 million - almost half a million down on a year ago. See PA story INDUSTRY Unemployment. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
File photo dated 16/09/14 of Jobcentre Plus entrance as unemployment has continued to fall, down to a near seven-year low, while a record number of people are in work. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday February 18, 2015. The jobless total dipped by 97,000 in the quarter to last December to 1.86 million - almost half a million down on a year ago. See PA story INDUSTRY Unemployment. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

The number of people employed in Yorkshire and Humber have reached “record highs,” but nearly half the jobs pay less than £7.85 per hour.

The figures released by the Office of National Statistics, show 164,000 people were unemployed between October and December, a fall of 29,000 and a “record high” for people in work.

The region’s rate of unemployment also stood at 6.1 per cent - a drop of 15 per cent during the period.

But the statistics for Yorkshire and the Humber revealed that East Yorkshire topped the list of living wage blackspots, with 42.4 per cent of the area’s jobs paying less than the living wage of £7.85 per hour.

It is a stark contrast compared to other parts of Yorkshire, including Leeds Central where just 14.3 per cent of jobs pay less than the living wage.

Central government were keen to point out that last year over 1,600 more people were in work every day, bringing the number of people in a job to a new record of 30.9 million across the country.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, said: “The jobs-led recovery is changing people’s lives for the better on a daily basis. We are getting people into work, making work pay, and in so doing we are ensuring a better future for Britain.”

But Yorkshire and the Humber TUC’s Regional Secretary Bill Adams said: “Working families have experienced the biggest squeeze on their living standards since Victorian times, and these living wage figures show that women in particular are suffering from poverty pay.

“We need a new approach from government if we’re to improve the pay and living standards of those paid low wages.”

Top five Yorkshire and the Humber living wage blackspots:

1.East Yorkshire - 42.4%

2.Barnsley East - 35.6 %

3.Huddersfield - 33.1%

4.Brigg and Goole - 32.2%

5.Kingston upon Hull East - 32.5%

Top five Yorkshire and the Humber living wage brightspots

1.Leeds Central - 14.3 %

2.Halifax - 17.7%

3.Sheffield Central - 18.1%

4.Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough - 18.1%

5.York Central - 18.9%