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16 Apr 2024

Chamber reacts to labour market figures

Picture of boardroom

The amount of economically active people (aged 16+) in the East Midlands has risen 0.8% over the last year, according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

East Midlands Chamber Director of Policy and Insight Chris Hobson said:

“In a difficult employment climate it’s encouraging to see an increase in the number of economically active people over 16 in the East Midlands to 73.4% – this means more people are returning to the workforce, giving businesses that are recruiting a greater pool of candidates.  Our Quarterly Economic Survey found 48% of respondents in the East Midlands had attempted to recruit in the last three months and 64% of those reported having difficulty in finding staff that suit the role, so the bigger the potential workforce the better.

“However, today’s data also shows the unemployment rate regionally to be 5.9%, a sign that overall the labour market locally is cooling. Locally we need to see an increase not just in vacancies but also the number of people with skills that match requirements.  This requires Government support for businesses to invest and grow. It also underlines the skill gap that needs to be addressed, which was one of the key asks in the Manifesto for Growth that we recently presented to the government.   The uncertainty that accompanies an election year has added to the challenges and we really need consistency to build an environment conducive to growth.”