Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that nationally, unemployment has fallen to an 11-year low in the three months to September.
The West Midlands has been the UK’s best performing region on the jobs front, recording a 1.5% increase in the employment rate, which, at 73.4%, is just marginally lower than that of London.
The West Midlands employment rate is the highest it has been for ten years, and it is a similar story for the unemployment rate, which is at its lowest since the first quarter of 2006.
The current unemployment rate in the region has fallen to just 5.2%, which is lower than the North West and London.
There has also been a 0.9% decrease in the inactivity rate in the region, which is now 22.4%, compared to the national figure of 21.7%.
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner said: "Today’s labour market statistics highlight another period of excellent progress for the West Midlands.
"We see a simultaneous surge in our employment rate balanced against significant reductions in our rates for both unemployment and inactivity. These figures are clear indications of the strength of our regional economy and are reflective of the confidence that is returning to the West Midlands.
"Whereas historically we have struggled to make up ground on national labour market performance, today’s figures see us surpassing a number of regional counterparts and importantly bring us within touching distance of national averages.
"However, with employment levels rising, employers are now having to recruit from a smaller talent pool. Our latest Quarterly Business Report identified that approximately 60 per cent of firms had faced difficulties recruiting in quarter three and we know that we still have issues with skills gaps in the region. An effective way to address these skills gaps is through training apprenticeships.
"A wide array of apprenticeship reforms are set to come into effect from April next year. It is vital that business leaders of all shapes and sizes look ahead and understand how they might be impacted by the reforms as well as the opportunities that will be available to them. We would encourage all business leaders to attend the GBCC’s apprenticeship events or get in touch with us to find out more."
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