Doncaster is in the top ten worst places in the country for low wages and high welfare, a new report has revealed.
A report from think tank Centre for Cities, released today, revealed a local’s average weekly salary is £431, and the borough’s welfare spend per person from 2014-15 was £3,525.
It is ranked 50th out of 62 large towns and cities when it comes to welfare and earnings figures.
But Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones says ‘great strides’ have been taken in recent months and ‘significant progress’ has already been made to address the shortfalls.
Based on figures from 2010-2014, the Cities Outlook ‘health check’ report found Doncaster’s average weekly wage of £431 was significantly behind the £504 UK average.
The top earning city was London with £629 and the lowest was Hull with £376.
The report found 68.5 per cent of Doncaster residents were in employment, ranking the city 46th out of 63.
Doncaster was ranked 50th out of 59 cities when it came to residents having five GCSEs between A*-C, with 49.4 per cent of people making the grade.
The town was found to have an adult unemployment rate of 2.6 per cent and a youth unemployment rate of 3.5 per cent. This ranked Doncaster 48th and 51st respectively.
Mayor Jones said since the report was compiled, the employment rate in Doncaster has increased to 70.2 per cent. She said the JSA rate has decreased to 2.4 per cent – the lowest rate for eight years.
The number of people aged 18-24 claiming JSA is now below 1,000 for the first time. Doncaster has also seen the highest number of homes built this year for at least 15 years – with net completions likely to exceed 1,000 by the end of the financial year.
Mayor Jones said: “Since I became Mayor in May 2013 I’ve been clear that economic development, job creation and skills are top of my agenda. This report demonstrates why I have taken this approach and why it is so important.
“As I have said many times, we need more well paid jobs, and we need to ensure that local people are able to gain the skills they need to secure those jobs. The good news is that we are making significant progress.
“The new airport link road will open in a few weeks and is already delivering jobs and growth. Doncaster Sheffield Airport announced the biggest deal since it opened with the new Flybe routes across Europe, the first units at iPort are going up and homes are being built on the former Rossington Colliery. We secured a new Enterprise Zone and these have been made possible by the council’s determination to drive through the regeneration scheme. These announcements are only the start.”
Dan Fell, chief executive of Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, said: “The outlook for Doncaster’s economy is extremely positive and there is a clear vision for an even brighter future. Plans that are coming to fruition have already begun paying dividends and will drive sustained growth through for Doncaster. We welcome the Centre for Cities’ recommendations for more local autonomy to fund, integrate and shape economic and skills interventions.”