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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber Reflects On Positive Employment Figures

Job CentreDNCC has welcomed another raft of positive news for the economy, following the publication of the latest employment figures by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.

The figures show that the number of Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) claimants fell by 667 in Derbyshire in July, while in Nottinghamshire, it fell by 660. Over the year, the JSA count has fallen by 4,992 in Derbyshire and 3,028 in Nottinghamshire.

The number of claimants aged 18-24 was also down. There are now 1,885 fewer claimants in Derbyshire and 1,630 fewer claimants in Nottinghamshire than there were a year ago.

And although the number of unemployed people in the East Midlands increased by 4,000 between March and June this year, this has been more than offset by an increase in the number of people in employment, which went up by 8,000 across the region in the same period.

According to the ONS, this is down to an increase of 11,000 in the region’s economically active population and a decrease of 6,000 in the economically inactive population.

The Organisation for Economic and Commercial Development (OECD), reported in June that the rise in population was the result of economic migration from Eastern to Western Europe. The OECD report suggested that long-term unemployment has risen sharply among migrants, with the share of those out of work for more than 12 months increasing from 38 per cent to 44 per cent between 2008 and 2012.

Reflecting on the figures, DNCC Chief Executive George Cowcher said: “A lot of good work has gone into driving down the claimant count across the region.

“With rising confidence among businesses and strengthening signs of recovery we would like to believe the figures will continue to fall, so long as the Government doesn’t take its foot off the accelerator and continues to prioritise business growth.

“That means more support to sustain private sector job creation through increasing the flow of credit to viable businesses and a continued focus on keeping inflation low to reverse the large fall in investment in the UK that has been seen in recent years.”

Commenting on the figures on behalf of the Nottinghamshire: City and County Employment and Skills Board, Philip Lovett said: "The numbers of people claiming JSA have fallen modestly in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire over the past month which is encouraging, but overall the local employment picture is still muted.

"This decrease has been mirrored by a small fall in the numbers of young people claiming out of work benefits. It is pleasing to note this fall as it suggests that partners’ efforts in supporting young people to secure sustainable employment are beginning to bear some fruit.

"The reduction in the number of young people claiming JSA for six months or longer is more significant and provides some early signs that growing confidence in a modest economic recovery is beginning to have an impact for those young people trying to get their foot on the first rung of the employment ladder.”

A briefing note containing all the data referred to in this story can be viewed by clicking here.