Jobs standstill ‘concerning’ says Chamber

Stagnating employment statistics in the West Midlands present a “concerning picture” business leaders in Greater Birmingham warned today.

Although unemployment fell by 0.1 per cent to 5 per cent between February and April, the figures remain significantly above the national average and second only to the North West.

The unemployment rate nationally fell by 0.1 per cent to 3.8 per cent.

The employment rate for the West Midlands was 74 per cent, the same as the previous quarter and the same period last year.

Meanwhile employment nationally remained at 76.1 per cent, up from 75.6 per cent recorded in the same quarter in 2018.

The highest unemployment rate estimate in the UK for January to March 2019 was for the North East at 5.7 per cent, followed by the West Midlands at 5.0 per cent.

Paul Faulkner (pictured), chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “These statistics present a concerning picture of stagnating employment in the West Midlands.

“Over the past few years, the Chambers have seen a growing sense of excitement and anticipation for the projects and events on the horizon in the West Midlands business community. We mustn’t let this energy dissipate.

“While unemployment remains at a 44-year low nationally, unemployment in the West Midlands remains significantly above the national average as the second highest of any region in the UK.

“I would encourage any readers interested in local business growth and the state of business in the region to come along to the launch of our next Quarterly Business Report, which will provide a comprehensive view of local business sentiment.”

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