Latest data released by the Office for National Statistics (pdf, 311kb) yesterday showed that the recession continues to hit the West Midlands particularly hard.
The official ILO measure of unemployment has now reached 9.3%, up from 6.3% a year ago. This is a full percentage point higher than any other English region and is two percentage points higher than the average rate for England.
The number unemployed in the West Midlands rose by 42,000 over the last quarter.
There are now 80,000 more unemployed people in the region than there were a year ago, taking the total close to a quarter of a million unemployed (246,000).
Most worryingly, the rate of the increase in unemployment in the region is double that of England. In the last quarter, unemployment in England rose by 0.8%, whereas in the West Midlands it rose by 1.6%.
The fall in employment in the region over the same period is three times as rapid as in England (1.5% and 0.5% respectively).
The numbers of people claiming unemployment benefit continues to rise. A further 7,100 people signed on for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in the West Midlands over the last month, taking the total JSA claimant count to 173,600.
The JSA claimant rate in the region now stands at 6.3%, compared with 4.6% in England.
The region’s employment rate now stands at 70.3%, a fall of 3 percentage points on this time last year.
The Observatory produces a regular series of recession monitoring updates focussing on how the recession impacts different sectors and the population in the West Midlands.
- UK labour market statistics May 2009 (PDF, 311kb)
- West Midlands regional labour market statistics May 2009 (PDF, 300kb)
- Analysis of latest employment and unemployment data