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East Midlands Chamber News

Employment figures show region remains a major force

Labour market figures released this morning by the Office for National Statistics show the East Midlands continues as a major contributor to the UK economy in terms of jobs and wealth creation.

While unemployment nationally was reported at 4.3% for the three months to the end of January, the regional figure remained more positive at 4.1%, a 0.1% improvement over the previous quarter.

The figures show a net 25,059 more people in employment for the period compared with the three months to the end of October last year and 19,019 more than two years ago.

Scott KnowlesScott Knowles, Chief Executive at the Chamber, said: “Once again the East Midlands is recording a lower unemployment percentage than the average for the rest of the country, which should reinforce to Government the need to invest in this region.

“We make more here in the East Midlands than anywhere else in the country and we are very good at selling what we make to global markets, and yet we receive only 60% average per capita infrastructure investment.

“The Chamber is lobbying hard to persuade Government that as a region we deserve at least 100% average per capita infrastructure investment. Just think how much more we could achieve with better broadband, better mobile connectivity, better roads and a 21st Century electrified railway.

“Couple the rise in the number of people in work with recent announcements of wage growth – which is now predicted to return to positive territory sooner rather than later - and reduced inflation and the overall picture is one of a relatively buoyant economy despite lingering doubts over Brexit.”

Despite the quarterly rise in employment and fall in unemployment, different figures released by the ONS this morning showed an increase in the number of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.

employment rate
Claimant count