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Average worker 'now worth £4,600 more' to economy

The value of Britain's workforce has increased for the first time since the recession began, official data has found.

A typical employee stands to receive a potential total of £444,000 in earnings over the rest of their working life - £4,600 more than a year earlier.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) calculates our worth, or "human capital", by factoring in skills, knowledge, abilities, social attributes, personality and health attributes.

As a collective, the UK's human capital rose to £18.2 trillion in 2014, the latest year stats are available. This is the first rise seen since 2008.

Among the other key findings, women made up just over a third (37%) of the total for 2014, a figure which is virtually the same as it was 10 years earlier (36% in 2004).

It also found that, while 16- to 35-year-olds make up 41.4% of the total workforce, they contribute a far higher share (66.1%) of the human capital.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, graduates have the highest potential worth at £6.6 trillion - those whose highest qualification is A-levels are worth £4.4 trillion and those with GCSEs are worth £3.6 trillion.

Finally, the ONS noted that the value of graduates has risen consistently over the past 10 years - even during the recession - but those for the GCSE group have dropped continuously since 2008, including in 2014.

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