Out-of-work benefits claims in East Devon fall by 25 per cent in nine years

Average wages are increasing ahead of prices at a time when a record number of people are in work, East Devon MP Hugo Swire has said.

The number of people claiming key out-of-work benefits in East Devon has fallen by 237 since 2010 – an overall reduction of 25 per cent.

Responding to Office for National Statistics figures that show there are now 32.81 million people in work nationally, Mr Swire said: “These figures show that the Conservatives are providing a solid foundation on which to build Britain’s economic future.

“More people are in work than ever before and, with average wages increasing ahead of prices, pay cheques can go further.

“Labour can’t be trusted to handle the economy – just like last time, they’d leave us with more debt, higher taxes and fewer jobs, hitting ordinary working people and hurting the people they claim to help.”

The statistics suggest a record number of women and disabled people are in work, which the Conservatives say means ‘more people than ever before have the economic independence that a job brings and can reach their full potential’.

East Devon and national picture

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, said: “Every person deserves the chance to succeed and provide for their families through a steady income. I’m pleased to see 2.9 million more people are in work every day since 2010, wages are rising at their fastest in more than a decade, and people across the UK are taking home more of what they earn.

“Thanks to the hard work of the British people and the government, we can further invest in our public services. And today’s figures are another sign that despite the challenges across the global economy, the fundamentals of the British economy are strong as we prepare to leave the EU.”

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Minister for Women and Equalities, Amber Rudd said: “More people in work than ever before means more households across the UK are earning a regular income, and millions more receiving a pay boost thanks to wages rising at their fastest in a decade – outstripping inflation for a 17th month in a row.

“Our workforce increasingly reflects our vibrant society, with a record number of women in employment while the number out of work falls to an all-time low.

“This week many young people will receive their A level results and begin their career journey. They should know that they are entering a workforce that is flourishing and full of opportunity and I hope all young people, especially women, feel empowered to flourish in every role in every sector.”

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