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East Midlands Chamber News

Regional unemployment still below national average

The unemployment rate in the East Midlands continues to be lower than the national average, according to figures released this morning.

Nationally, unemployment stood at 4.2% for the three months January to March 2018, down from 4.6% a year earlier and the joint lowest since 1975.

In the East Midlands, unemployment for the same period was 4.0%, 0.2% better than the national figure, 0.1% higher than the three months to December 2017 but 0.1% lower than a year ago.

According to today’s figures from the Office for National Statistics, there were 2,297,969 people in work in the East Midlands in the period January to March, 18,848 more than in October to December and 17,756 more than a year earlier.

The figures showed unemployment of 96,530 for the first three months of this year, 1,237 lower than the last three months of 2017, 2,996 higher than a year earlier but 15,329 lower than two years earlier.

Scott Knowles, Chief Executive at the Chamber, said: “Once again, the figures confirm the important contribution the East Midlands makes to the national economy.

“We continue to create jobs here, which creates wealth. We continue to make things here and to sell what we make on global markets. And we continue to achieve these levels of success despite unfairly low investment in the region.

“If we can achieve these levels of success with only 60% of the average national infrastructure investment, according to the Government’s own figures, just think how much more we could do if we received parity with the rest of the country, which is something the Chamber is campaigning for by 2020.”

Other figures released by the ONS this morning showed that the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire in April was about 1,000 higher than in March.

The figure rose from 36,035 to 37,035 and was also higher than both a year and two years ago.