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East Midlands Chamber News

Unemployment rate gap closes

The gap between the number of people out of work in the East Midlands and the rest of the country has closed.

Last month, when the country’s unemployment was shown at a record low since 1975 of 4.3% for the three months to the end of July, the East Midlands rate was just 3.9%.

But data released this morning by the Office for National Statistics revealed an unemployment rate for the East Midlands of 4.2% while the national figure remained the same.

“While the change is relatively small – a shift equivalent to just three people per thousand workers – and still places the East Midlands in a better position than the rest of the country, it’s not something we would want to see develop as a trend,” said Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at the Chamber.

He added: “For quite some time now, the East Midlands has enjoyed lower unemployment than the rest of the country, indicating strength in the regional economy. It’s possible this is just a seasonal blip and the differential will be restored next month, but that’s something we won’t know until the next set of figures are released.

“In the short term, since the Brexit vote, members have enjoyed good sales performances domestically and overseas, as evidenced by our Quarterly Economic Surveys, but this is a time of great uncertainty and there are a lot of questions that still need answers to ensure business confidence.

“One such question is the rights of UK workers in the EU and EU workers in the UK and what future immigration policy might look like. Only this morning we sat down with the Migration Advisory Committee, which is consulting on behalf of the Government, to make sure business needs receive due prominence in its feedback.”

According to this morning’s figures, there are now 32.1 million people in work nationally, 317,000 more than last year and over three million more than in 2010 and the UK has the third-highest employment rate among the G7 nations.

Other figures released by the Office for National Statistics this morning show that the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire fell by 100 in September (32,395) when compared with August (32,495).

Nottinghamshire (county) saw the biggest fall of 140, Nottingham (city) recorded 75 and Derby (city) saw a drop of 35. Derbyshire (county), Leicester and Leicestershire all saw the month-on-month claimant count rise.

All six authorities saw an increase compared with a year ago but across them all the combined claimant count was lower in September than two years ago.

Employment figures table Claimant count table
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