Unemployment in the West Midlands grew by a further 39,000 in the three months to April 2009 and has now reached its highest level since 1994.
Data released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that there are now just under quarter of a million people (249,000) out of work in the region giving an unemployment rate of 9.3%.
This is the highest unemployment rate of all the English regions and two percentage points higher than the national rate of 7.3%. At 9.3%, the unemployment rate has increased by nearly three percentage points on the same period a year ago making the West Midlands the worst affected region.
The claimant count, the narrower measure of unemployment which is the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, has also risen again although the increase is less than in previous months.
Between April and May 2009, the claimant count rose by 3,300 across the West Midlands bringing the number of claimants to 175,500. Although still rising, this is the smallest monthly increase since July 2008.
There are wide differences in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance across Local Authorities within the region. We’ve updated our interactive map showing the proportion of the working age population claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in each Local Authority to reflect the latest data (xls, 25kb).
Wolverhampton and Birmingham continue to have the highest claimant rates in the West Midlands, although many areas have seen large rises in their claimant rates.
Further analysis of the latest headline statistics from the ONS is available on our website.
Filed under: Data, Economy & Labour Force, Employment, Office for National Statistics, West Midlands Tagged: | jobseekers allowance, labour market statistics, Office for National Statistics, unemployment, West Midlands