Official figures released on Wednesday (April 17) show that regular pay rose by one per cent in December-February compared to the same period a year ago. This is the lowest annual rise in regular pay since 2001 and mean a continuing decrease in personal spending power.
Inflation stands at 2.8 per cent – with many essential costs such as heating increasing at much higher rates.
The figures also show that unemployment rose in the quarter by 70,000. However those claiming Job Seekers Allowance fell between February and March by 7,000 to 1,530,000 people – that is 77,500 lower than in March 2012.
For the Devizes constituency the statistics just about reflect that drop with twelve fewer claimants. But they also reflect the national rise of 20,000 in those aged 16-24 who are unemployed.
The impact of job losses at Honda’s Swindon plant has not yet reached the constituency figures. Nine hundred jobs are going of which only ninety are compulsory redundancies.
The published figures no longer show how many job vacancies there are in the constituency.