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Regional unemployment rate is better than national figure

Unemployment in the East Midlands has fallen to 3.82% compared with a national average of 4.5%, according to figures released this morning by the Office for National Statistics.

In the three months to the end of May 2017, there were 89,662 people unemployed compared with 96,062 in the previous three months (Dec-Feb) when regional unemployment was 4.07%. A year ago, March to May, the regional unemployment rate was 4.49% and two years ago it was 4.77%.

Nationally, the number of people in work increased in the three months to the end of May compared with the previous three months by 175,000 to 32.01 million, giving an employment rate of 74.9% – the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

Regionally, there were 2,255,357 people in work during the three months, slightly down on the period to the end of February 2017 and also for the same period a year earlier but 242 up on two years ago.

The figures reflect the Chamber’s own survey work, which has found that about a third of companies plan to recruit in the near future if they can find workers with the skills they need.

Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at East Midlands Chamber*, said: “Employment figures nationally and regionally remain positive at a time when the amount of political uncertainty could quite easily have caused them to be less so.

“These figures cover the period leading up to the General Election, when business confidence was very high. It will be interesting to see what impact the lack of political stability has on medium- to long-term recruitment plans.

“The East Midlands is still proving robust, with a lower unemployment rate than the rest of the country. But if this trend continues, then there’s a likelihood that it could have a negative impact on employment figures.”

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire fell in June when compared with May. According to the figures released this morning there were 245 fewer claimants month-on-month and 1,975 fewer than two years ago.