Record number at work in West Midlands.

The number of people in work in the UK and the West Midlands remained at record levels in the three months to April.

Unemployment in the region, including Shropshire, however bucked the national trend, rising by 7,000 on the quarter to 148,000. Nationally there was a fall of 38,000 to 1.42 million.

The employment rate for the West Midlands is at a record high of 74 per cent with 2.76 million in work – up 51,000 on the previous quarter.

Employment nationally increased by 146,000 to 32.39 million, the highest figure since records began in 1971, giving a record rate of 75.6 per cent.

The national jobless rate is 4.2 per cent, the lowest since 1975, according to the Office for National Statistics. For the West Midlands it is 5.1 per cent.

Average earnings increased by 2.5 per cent in the year to April, down by 0.1 per cent on the previous month, but 0.3 per cent up on a year ago.

The number of people classed as economically inactive, including students, those on long-term sick leave, taken early retirement or who have given up looking for work, fell by 72,000 to 8.6 million in the latest quarter, giving a rate of 21 per cent, a record low.

The claimant count, which includes people on Jobseeker's Allowance and the unemployment element of Universal Credit, fell by 7,700 last month to 886,000, around 90,000 more than a year ago.

The West Midlands had a rise of 155 to 99,950, which is 2.8 per cent of the working population.


The Shropshire Council area saw the number of claimants fall by 110 compared with the previous month, taking the total to 2,305, meaning 1.2 per cent of the workforce was receiving jobless benefits.

In Telford and Wrekin, there were 10 less claimants, making its total 2,160. This represents two per cent of the workforce.

In Powys, the amount of claimants fell by 15 to 720. This represents 0.9 per cent of the workforce.

Gareth Niblett, Job Centre customer services manager for Shropshire, said: "It is looking good news across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin. We have seen a decline in people in receipt of unemployment benefits.


"There are no major recruitments going on but there are a lot of jobs around which are coming through ourselves.

"The labour market is very buoyant and active."

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said: "The employment rate has never been higher – with over 3.2 million people moving into work since 2010.

"It's a Great British success story, with businesses from Exeter to Edinburgh creating jobs, helping, on average, 1,000 people find a job each and every day since 2010.

"With the increase in the personal tax allowance, the Government has ensured that people are keeping more of their money before they begin paying tax – meaning more take-home pay, that's more money in your pocket for you and your family."

Date: 12 June 2018 | Source: Shropshire Star

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