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Ipswich: Workers on lowest wages but town still weathering recession better than others

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
9.06 AM

THE town has some of the lowest average salaries in the country and among the lowest number of highly-qualified workers – but it has withstood the prolonged recession much better than other towns and cities.

These are among some of the key statistics contained in a new survey produced for the Local Government Association.

The survey by Centre for Cities showed that between 2008 and 2011 the level of economic activity in Ipswich pushed the town from 59th in a list of the largest 64 towns and cities in the UK to 19th.

It also showed – somewhat surprisingly – that the number of new house starts in Ipswich was one of the highest in the country.

However, on the downside, the figures showed wages in the town were among the lowest in the country. In 2011 they were the second lowest of all the cities surveyed with only Hull below, but officials believe this was a statistical anomaly because they fell dramatically from 2010 and then recovered significantly last year.

Over the 10-year period between the 2001 and 2011 census Ipswich was the fourth-fastest growing centre in Britain with a 1.2% annual population growth rate.

However on the downside, Ipswich comes near the bottom of the league table for the proportion of residents who have high-level educational qualifications – although it is in the middle of the table for the proportion of residents with no qualifications at all.

Over the 10-year period from 2001 to 2011, Ipswich was near the bottom of the league table for house price growth – running at an average of 5.4% a year – although the house price collapse across the country after 2007 distorted all these figures.

And Ipswich is one of the greenest towns and cities on the list – residents produced 4.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide each in 2010. The national average was 7.4 tonnes.

ow has the recession affected you? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to starnews@archant.co.uk