Prime Minister David Cameron said he wants to see more well-paid jobs in the UK, after it was revealed the average wage in the West Midlands has fallen by 11 per cent since the Coalition Government came to power.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics wages in the metropolitan area decreased by 11.2 per cent between 2010 and 2014 after accounting for inflation.
The average weekly wage in 2014 for a full time worker in the West Midlands was £451 compared to £508 in 2010.
Speaking to the Post during a visit to Solihull Mr Cameron defended the Government’s record on job creation and claimed earnings across the UK were rising. He also said tax cuts were boosting workers’ incomes.
He said: “I want to see more we-paid jobs.”
“Earnings are growing ahead of inflation and we are also helping people by cutting their taxes.
“We have taken three million of the lowest paid out of tax and our plan is to do more of that.”
At the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham last autumn, Mr Cameron promised to cut income tax if he secures a majority at the General Election in May, with a rise in the personal allowance to £12,500.
During his recent visit to Fujitsu on Birmingham Business Park close to the NEC he said: “Someone working on the minimum wage will pay no income tax at all.
“It is the pay people take home that is important and cutting people’s taxes is the best way we can help.”
The ONS wage figures revealed that Sandwell fared the worst in the West Midlands, with full time wages falling by 15.1 per cent after inflation between 2010 and 2014 from £479 to £406.
Wolverhampton was the next hardest hit with average earnings falling by 12.3 per cent from £475 to £417 over the same period.
At the other end of the scale, Solihull fared the best in the region with wages falling by just 3.2 per cent from £606 in 2010 after inflation to £587 in 2014.
Throughout the whole of the UK the average weekly wage for a full time worker has fallen by 11 per cent under the Coalition Government.
In 2010 the average worker could expect to take home the equivalent of £560 a week before tax whereas in 2014 the average was £498.
Only six local authorities out of 377 have seen wages increase over the past five years. They are Castle Point, West Devon, Canterbury, Poole, Eden and Torbay - all of which, apart from Eden, are located in the South.
Mr Cameron’s Midland visit coincided with the announcement of the latest unemployment figures.
ONS labour market data for the three months to February 2015, revealed unemployment fell by 76,000 to 1.84 million.
The region experienced one of the largest decreases in unemployment over the year at two per cent and at 6.2 per cent the jobless numbers in the West Midlands were level with London.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 20,700 in March to 772,400, the 29th consecutive monthly cut.
In the West Midlands the number of claimants was down 2,518 to 87,326.
Welcoming the news Mr Cameron said: “The Conservative Party is the party of working people.
“Britain has created two million jobs over the past five years, that’s 1,000 jobs for every day we have been in government - more than any other European country.
“We are officially the jobs factory of Europe. We now have 31 million people in work.”
Mr Cameron added that the number of people claiming unemployment benefit was now at its lowest level since 1975.
He said: “I can’t even remember 1975. I think I bought a Bay City Rollers’ album - it is that long ago.”
Mr Cameron’s visit to Fujitsu coincided with the firm announcing it is to create 750 jobs in the Midlands over the next four years.
* West Midlands wages under the Coalition
Area/inflation adjusted 2010 median/median 2014/ percentage change
Sandwell/£479/£406/-15.1 per cent
Wolverhampton/£475/£417/-12.3 per cent
Birmingham/£516/£455/-11.7 per cent
Dudley/£493/£438/-11.3 per cent
Walsall/£477/£431/-9.6 per cent
Coventry/£507/£466/-8.2 per cent
Solihull/£606/£587/-3.2 per cent