Unemployment rises again in the West Midlands

Office for National Statistics logoUnemployment 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.

Thumbnail of interactive map on Jobseeker's Allowance data for local authorities in the West MidlandsThere 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.

2 Responses

  1. Do these people have to do New Deal or Flexible New Deal?

  2. Hi Dan,

    People counted as unemployed in the claimant count measure of unemployment (those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, 175,500 people in the West Mids) do have to take part in New Deal after a certain amount of time claiming – 6 months for those aged 18 to 24 and 18 months for those over 25.

    The official measure of unemployment (currently 249,000 people in the West Midlands) is measured through a survey of the population. Not everyone who is counted as unemployed in this survey will be claiming Jobseekers and so wouldn’t have to take part in New Deal.

    The Flexible New Deal won’t be introduced until October this year and will again be for people who are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

    Hope this answers your question!

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