West Midlands unemployment rate up significantly

Peter Mandelson and West Midlands TaskforceLatest data released by the Office for National Statistics point to a significant worsening of regional unemployment rate. This is the preferred measure of unemployment as it measures the percentage of those who are economically active but unable to find employment.

The last quarter of 2008 saw the estimated rate of unemployment rise by 1.2 percentage points to 7.7%, taking the annual change up to 1.9 percentage points from 5.8% quarter 4 2007.

The increase is due to an additional 34,000 people becoming economically active but employment growth was virtually static.

The latest provisional claimant count data indicates a further rise of nearly 8,500. Since January 2008 nearly 48,000 more people have registered for jobseekers allowance, an increase of over 50%.

With the launch of the West Midlands Taskforce, Advantage West Midlands has drawn together regional and local partners to produce a monthly update on the region’s economy.

The Observatory plays an important role within this group, providing data across key sectors and reporting news of company announcements. Labour market conditions are one of the economic themes being monitored by the regional taskforce.

Download the latest economic report (PDF, 685KB).

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