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Chamber Welcomes More Good News on Jobs

Posted on February 18th, 2015

Chamber Chief Executive George Cowcher
Unemployment has fallen, the number of people in work has increased and there are fewer people claiming out of work benefits now than a year ago, according to new figures released today.

The Office for National Statistics’ latest regional employment statistics showed that in the last three months of 2014, there were 36,593 more people in employment across the East Midlands than in the previous three months, while the total number of unemployed fell by 17,487 in the same period.

In the East Midlands, employment stood at 74.5% compared with 73.2% nationally according to today’s figures. Unemployment stood at 5% for the region compared to 5.7% nationally.

There was a monthly increase in the number of people in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Rutland claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) in January, as many temporary seasonal contracts came to an end. In December 2014, the local JSA Claimant Count stood at its lowest level since records began in 1983, but it increased by 1,790 to 39,157 in January.

It is, however, still significantly lower than it was 12 months ago, when it stood at 57,874.

The East Midlands Chamber, which represents businesses across the three counties, has welcomed the news.

Chamber Chief Executive George Cowcher said: “There is usually a seasonal spike in JSA Claimants in January and February each year as temporary employment contracts come to an end after the Christmas period, but that aside, today’s figures were again very positive.

“There are now more people in work and fewer people unemployed and claiming out of work benefits now than a year ago, which highlights how much progress the economy has made over the past 12 months.

“It’s also positive to see that wage growth is now outstripping inflation. A focus on improving productivity from businesses will ensure this is sustainable.”

The JSA Claimant Count for January 2015 was:

The total employment/unemployment figures for the East Midlands region were: