Employment figures boost welcomed by Midlands business leaders

Paul Faulkner, Chief Executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

Employment figures boost welcomed by Midlands business leaders

The Midlands has been handed a boost on the jobs front – with a healthy increase in employment and a fall in inactivity across the region.

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics reveal the region’s employment rate increased by 0.9% between April and June, while unemployment remained unchanged at 5.8%.

The inactivity rate – the proportion of the population not in employment who haven’t been seeking work within the last four weeks or are unable to start work in the next two – fell by 1% to 23.2%.

Furthermore, the region enjoyed a job creation surge between December and March, with an increase of 65,000 new workforce jobs.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner welcomed the news – but said work still needs to be done to reduce unemployment.

The unemployment rate in the West Midlands still remains significantly higher than the national average of 4.4%, however. 

Mr Faulkner said: “The latest regional labour market statistics are encouraging, particularly given the large increase in workforce jobs in the region, and the strong upward trend in employment figures, coupled with a significant drop in economic inactivity over the last quarter.

“However, the unemployment rate remains stubbornly unchanged, so while we welcome ongoing good news on jobs creation, there is more to be done to get unemployment down to the national average.

“The Chambers are interested to understand better which sectors are looking to increase their workforce, and whether this reported growth has impacted on the availability of talent.

“We strongly encourage businesses to complete our next Quarterly Business Report survey which launches next week.”