News - 21 January 2015

Chamber Welcomes Latest Good News on Jobs

The latest job figures announced today showed significant annual falls in the number of people claiming out of work benefits and the total number of unemployed people across the region, along with a large annual increase in employment.

In Derby and Derbyshire, there were 491 fewer Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) claimants in December than there were in November, representing an annual fall of 5,517, or 36%.

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire saw a monthly fall in claimants of 469 and an annual fall of 6,642 (28%).

In Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, there were 527 fewer claimants in December than November, and 5,924 (36%) fewer than in December 2013.  

Across the East Midlands, the total number of people in employment increased by 11,709 in the three months to November, an increase of 49,750 on the same period in 2013.

The total number of unemployed between September and November increased by 603, but was down by 19,094 on the year.

The East Midlands Chamber, which represents businesses in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, has welcomed the news, but says firms are still struggling to recruit skilled staff.

Chris Hobson, the Chamber’s Head of Information and Representation, said: “Today’s employment figures are once again extremely positive and show that significant progress has been made in getting more people off jobseekers’ benefits and into work.

“However, this growth in employment could be even better as many businesses are still telling the Chamber that they experience difficulties in finding suitably skilled workers. 

“The results of our latest Quarterly Economic Survey (Q4 2014) showed that about two-thirds of firms – twice as many as in the same quarter of 2013 – struggled to recruit people with the skills they need. This is an area which requires urgent focus from policymakers. 

“In particular, getting the link right between education and the world of work has never been more important if this country is serious about creating a new economy equipped for success in the long term.

“It’s an issue that the Chamber has long campaigned on and, unfortunately, the structural problems in this area, over the past few years in particular, are impacting upon businesses’ ability today to recruit the right staff to help them grow.

“The skills shortage is very much a current issue, so getting right policies in place to support recruitment is imperative, with priority being given to  specific policies regarding relief on business investment and supporting those furthest away from the job market into employment.”

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