6 November 2017: 4:36 pm
Basildon makes the (pay) grade
An influential think tank has declared Basildon to have the 10th highest pay level in the UK.
Centre for Cities is an influential, non-partisan body dedicated to understanding and improving UK city economies by providing in-depth data.
Its annual Cities Outlook survey, which shows figures for 2016, found Basildon had an average weekly salary of £520, putting it 10th out of 63 locations surveyed, while average welfare spend per head was only £3,226, ranking the town at 36th.
The survey also found that Basildon is the UK's ninth best place for business start ups, at 66 per 1,000 of population, and has the eighth best rate for the presence of businesses, at 385 per 1,000 population.
Basildon's gross value added rate per worker was £57,100, putting it in the upper-middle range of the 63 places examined.
The town made the top 10 for the highest proportion of private sector jobs, at 64,371 against 19,230 publicly funded ones.
It was also towards the bottom of the list for residents who lack formal qualifications, at only 7.6%.
In 2016 Basildon experienced the highest house price growth of the places surveyed, with average prices increasing by 15.1%.
Centre for Cities deputy chief executive Andrew Carter said: "Our research shows Basildon is one of only 14 UK cities with higher than average wages, and lower than average welfare spending.
"It's also one of the fastest growing populations in the UK, all of which bode well for the city’s economic prospects."