TUC analysis of new official poverty figures published today (Thursday) has found that working-age poverty in the East Midlands has barely fallen since 2010/11, despite regional unemployment falling significantly in the years before the pandemic.
The proportion of working-age people living in poverty was 22% in 2010/11, and 19% in 2019/20, according to today’s new figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The poor progress comes despite unemployment in the East Midlands falling from 7.7% in 2011 to 3.8% in 2020.
The TUC says that as we recover from the pandemic, we must make sure that the new jobs created are better quality and do not leave families stuck in working poverty.
TUC Regional Secretary for the East Midlands Lee Barron said:
“Hard work should pay off for everyone in the East Midlands, no matter who you are or the job you do. But millions of our workers are denied a fair share of the wealth they create.
“The Prime Minister keeps talking about levelling up – let’s see it for the low paid. Get the minimum wage up to £10 an hour without delay. And give key workers the pay rise they earned.
“This isn’t just about doing the right thing for workers. High streets and business in the East Midlands won’t recover if people have nothing to spend. Pay growth is fuel in the tank. It will drive our recovery much faster, supporting business growth and job creation.”