Employment gap closes in on East Midlands

editorial image

The county’s employment rate is still fighting fit - despite a close in the gap between the number of people of out of work in the East Midlands and the rest of the country.

The number of Job Seekers’ Allowance claimants in Nottinghamshire fell by 140 to 7,980 from the previous month.

The country’s unemployment rate reached 4.3 per cent for the three months to the end of July - the lowest since 1975 - while the East Midlands figure was just 3.9 per cent.

Between June and August the East Midlands rate rose to 4.2 per cent, while the national figure stayed the same.

Chris Hobson, director of policy at East Midlands Chamber commented: “While the change is relatively small – a shift equivalent to just three people per thousand workers – and still places the East Midlands in a better position than the rest of the country, it’s not something we would want to see develop as a trend.

“For quite some time now, the East Midlands has enjoyed lower unemployment than the rest of the country, indicating strength in the regional economy.

“It’s possible this is just a seasonal blip and the differential will be restored next month, but that’s something we won’t know until the next set of figures are released.

“In the short term, since the Brexit vote, members have enjoyed good sales performances domestically and overseas, as evidenced by our Quarterly Economic Surveys, but this is a time of great uncertainty and there are a lot of questions that still need answers to ensure business confidence.

“One such question is the rights of UK workers in the EU and EU workers in the UK and what future immigration policy might look like.

He added: “We sat down with the Migration Advisory Committee, which is consulting on behalf of the Government, to make sure business needs receive due prominence in its feedback.”

According to the latest figures, there are now 32.1 million people in work nationally, 317,000 more than last year and in excess of three million more than in 2010 and the UK has the third-highest employment rate among the G7 nations.

Other figures released by the Office for National Statistics show the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire fell by 100 overall in September (32,395) when compared with August (32,495).