The number of people in work in the East Midlands increased by 6,902, but the number of people unemployed went up by 2,806 in the three months to January, according to figures released this morning.
The latest regional employment bulletin from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that between November 2015 and January 2016, there were 2.25 million people in jobs and 103,730 people out of work across the region.
It means the East Midlands’ employment rate currently stands at 60%, while the region’s unemployment rate of 4.4% remains well below the national 5.1% and is the fourth lowest of all UK regions.
In terms of Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) claimants, there was a monthly increase of 935, to 32,500 across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire between January and February, but there were 7,270 fewer claimants across the three counties than there were in February 2015.
Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber*, said: “Taking into account the usual seasonal spike in unemployment and JSA claimants as temporary contracts come to an end and start to filter through into the job market, these figures are once again positive and further demonstrate just how robust the East Midlands is when it comes to creating jobs and driving the economy.
“Today’s figures demonstrate that while our labour market remains flexible and vibrant, it’s not immune to shock, so it’s vital that business policy continues to provide the right support and environment to facilitate job creation, particularly in the production sectors, where the East Midlands’ real strength lies.
“However, there are some uncertainties on the horizon in terms of changes to apprenticeships funding, the introduction of a new National Living Wage and the continued rollout of auto-enrolment, all of which add huge up-front costs to employers, so we would urge the Chancellor to resist the temptation through his Budget today to load any further burdens on business until we have worked through these existing reforms and commitments.
“In the current economic environment, and at a time when many businesses already face higher costs and taxes, the Chancellor must avoid placing any further financial obligations on our firms.”