Jobs figures confirm robust East Midlands economy

Posted on April 12th, 2017

The number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance remains lower across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicester than it was last year and two years ago, according to figures released this morning.

And regionally, the East Midlands unemployment rate remains well below the national average, the figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

In March 2015 there were 37,955 people in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance across the three counties compared with 32,280 in March this year. A year ago there were 32,875 claimants.

The reduction compared with last year was led by Leicester and Leicestershire which saw a combined fall in claimants of 1,005 to 7,570 from 8,575.

Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire all saw an increase year on year and across the three counties, the number of claimants rose by 990 month-on-month compared with February 2017, from 31,290.

The number of people in work in the East Midlands (2,273,144) was 29,145 higher in the three months to the end of February 2017 than in the same period two years ago (2,243,999) and 16,249 higher than a year earlier (2,256,895).

And the number of people unemployed (95,961) was 19,470 lower than two years ago and 11,125 lower than a year ago, according to the ONS.

The unemployment rate fell in percentage terms from 4.46 to 4.05 – well below the national rate of 4.7%, which is reportedly the lowest since 1975.

Scott Knowles
Scott Knowles, the Chamber's Chief Executive, said: “Although there has been a month-on-month rise in Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants, these figures show that the East Midlands economy remains robust.

“We have one of the lowest unemployment ratios in the country, with almost 96% of working-age people in jobs.

“We make things in the East Midlands and we sell them around the world. The reduced value of Sterling has led to something a boom for many local companies and that has helped to keep people in work where there had been predictions of doom, despair and job losses.

“The flipside of the reduction in value of Sterling means that there are inflationary pressures, not least in the cost of importing raw materials and oil, and employers will have to factor in those rising costs. The month-on-month claimant count figures are beginning to show a rising trend and we have to be realistic and expect that trend to continue for the rest of this year.

“What we would like to see is that any fall in employment in the East Midlands happens more slowly than the rest of the country and we would urge the Government to do everything it can to encourage continued investment in jobs and infrastructure across this region, sending a message to the world that UK plc remains open for business despite Brexit.”

Claimant count

April employment rate