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East Midlands Chamber News

Latest jobs figures suggest growing pool of available workers


The number of people in work across the East Midlands rose by 20,507 in the three months to December compared with three months earlier.


In total, 2,303,915 were in work across the region, up from 2,283,408 in the period from July to September.


The figure was 8,456 up on a year earlier and 13,753 higher than two years ago, according to figures released this morning by the Office for National Statistics.


Unemployment also increased, suggesting an increase in the number of people available for work and creation of new jobs despite the uncertainty of the current economic climate.


The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance increased across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire in the latest figures except in Nottingham where the number of claimants fell.


Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at the Chamber, said: “The number of people in work has risen quarter-on-quarter according to today’s figures, but so has the number of people out of work. This suggests resilience in the market and continued jobs creation but also that the pool of available workers is getting bigger.


“When we talk to members, we are still being told that many continue to have difficulty recruiting suitably qualified or experienced people, which suggests a need to join the dots, as it were, and make sure we get appropriate workers lined up with appropriate vacancies.


“There is a worrying trend developing though. A year ago we had a lower percentage of people out of work than the rest of the country but today’s figures show we now have a higher percentage of unemployment. We don’t know why this has reversed but it could be a result of the uncertainty in the current economic climate, particularly around Brexit.


“It is, therefore, vital that, with fewer than 40 days to go until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, businesses urgently get clarity about future trading relationships with the EU and other countries.”