1. ITV Report

Mixed results for Midlands unemployment figures

Mixed bag for Midlands job seekers Photo: PA

There is a mixed bag of statistics out today on unemployment in the Midlands.

The biggest change in quarterly figures is for the West Midlands where in the three months ending in April, there was a drop of 18,000 in the number out of work.

The Birmingham Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the fall but says there is still more to be done by the government to aid recruitment and investment.

But the overall rate of unemployed is still 8.4% which is slightly above the national average of 8.2%. In the East Midlands while the overall rate is 8% out of work there has been a drop in the last quarter of only 1,000.

There are more people claiming Job Seekers Allowance. The government explain that as the result of more people coming off other benefits and beginning to seek work.

The Employment Minister Chris Grayling said he was particularly pleased at the boost in manufacturing jobs in the West Midlands - linked mainly to the automotive trades.

The Shadow Employment minister Liam Byrne - MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill said that while any improvement in the jobs market is to be welcomed he expressed concern about the rise in the number of people unemployed for more than a year.

He said the government's insistence on cutting too far and too fast was to blame.

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