Unemployment in West Midlands still above national average

The Office for National Statistics today released the latest unemployment figures which reveal unemployment nationally has fallen from 6.9% to 6.8% in the three months to March.


In the West Midlands the unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, still above the national average and third highest region for unemployment in the country, behind the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber. Figures show that people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Birmingham Selly Oak constituency stands at 5.4%, compared to 3.6% nationally. Selly Oak constituency still remains in the top 20% for unemployment across the country.


Average earnings, excluding bonuses, rose by 1.3% during the quarter and by just 1% in March, meaning real wages actually fell in the three months to March.


Commenting on the figures Steve McCabe, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, said:

“I welcome any news that unemployment has fallen nationally but it’s hard to celebrate a 0.1% fall especially when we are making such slow progress in the West Midlands and while youth unemployment remains so high. There is little evidence to suggest that ordinary people are feeling better off as average earnings are still being squeezed.

“I know from people in my constituency that many are still struggling to make ends meet and with the spectre of rising interest rates looming I know a lot of homeowners, small businesses and people with loans are very worried about what the future holds.”

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