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Midlands unemployment down over last three months

Unemployment has gone down across the Midlands Credit: PA

Unemployment across the Midlands has fallen in the three months to September, according to official figures out today.

Number by which unemployment has dropped in the East Midlands since September
Number by which unemployment has dropped in the West Midlands since September

The Office for National Statistics says that 105,000 people were unemployed during the last three months in the East Midlands compared to 157,000 people in the West Midlands.

In the East Midlands, unemployment now stands at 4.4% - that's lower than the national average of 5.3%.

But in the West Midlands, the unemployment rate is actually higher than the average across the country. It currently stands at 5.7%.

Continued boost to Leicester's economy after series of major events

Leicester's economy has been given a dramatic boost thanks to a number of high profile events this year, like the reinterment of Richard III and the Rugby World Cup.

The city council says visitors from all over the world are continuing to flock to Leicester. Record crowds turned out this weekend for the annual Diwali Lights Switch on, and businesses say they're booming. Rajiv Popat reports


Hundreds of jobs under threat after Caparo collapse

Hundreds of people may have lost their jobs this evening after the collapse of the steel company Caparo.

It has factories in the Black Country and in Leamington Spa.

Eighteen hundred people work for the group but the administrators are cautious over how many of these jobs might go.

Our Business Correspondent, Mark Gough, reports:

  1. National

Labour urges Government action to help steel industry

Angela Eagle said the Government 'seems content to let the industry fail'. Credit: PA

Labour has urged the Government to take immediate action to help the steel industry following the news that Caparo Industries is likely to go into administration.

Angela Eagle, the shadow secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, said the industry was "on its knees" and that the Government "seems content to let the industry fail".

She said: “My thoughts are with the 1,700 employees of Caparo who are facing uncertainty over their future.

“Rather than setting up more talking shops the Government should be taking action to tackle higher energy prices, they should be providing export and procurement support and be looking at what temporary measures could help the industry, including looking again at business rates.

“With the Chinese President in the UK this week, I hope the Government will raise the issue of anti-competitive dumping which is driving down steel prices.”

  1. National

Union warns of Caparo 'domino effect' on steel industry

Tony Burke said the Government must step in to help the steel industry. Credit: PA

Failure to help threatened steel firm Caparo could create a "domino effect" across the whole industry, the Unite union has warned.

The union described the news as another "hammer blow" to livelihoods and vowed to do everything in its power to protect jobs and skills.

Unite's Tony Burke called on the Government to step in to help protect jobs.

He said: “Government ministers need to ask themselves. How many more steel firms need to go to the wall before they step in and support the UK’s steel industry?

“Failure to act urgently could lead to a ‘domino effect’ taking hold across the industry, leading to the loss of yet more skilled jobs as firms buckle under a combination of steel ‘dumping’ and high energy costs."


  1. National

Administrators 'assessing all options' at Caparo

1,700 jobs are thought to be at risk at Caparo. Credit: PA

Administrators have been appointed to oversee part of the Caparo group, it has been confirmed.

Administrator PwC said 1,700 staff would be spoken to about the impact of the administration and that employees were continuing to attend work and be paid as normal.

Matt Hammond, from PwC, said: “We will be rapidly assessing all options for the businesses through this week and beyond.

“The impact of steel prices and exchange rates has had an impact on some parts of the Caparo Industries group. However there are businesses in the group that are not directly affected by steel prices, and likewise many where there is both strong customer demand and critical supplier support.

“Our focus for the next 36 hours is on briefing staff across the group and working closely with their management teams to ensure that every opportunity for these businesses is considered. We will be working with all parties to ensure the best outcome for all creditors of each business.”

Sixteen companies within the group have gone into administration, while three subsidiaries have not, including UK entities Caparo Merchant Bar and Caparo India.

Walsall charity raise awareness over food poverty

Volunteers helping to feed others in the Midlands Credit: Midland Langar Sewa Society

Volunteers from a Walsall-based charity which helps feed those struggling for meals every week, say they're seeing more and more people at their free-food sessions.

Last week saw the annual Langar Week campaign held across the Midlands and then the rest of the country, where volunteers helped raise awareness of the Sikh tradition of helping to feed those struggling because of food poverty.

The Midland Langar Sewa Society have also reached crisis zones like Nepal in the aftermath of the earthquake in April and the Calais refugee camp.

"Langar is a big part of the Sikh faith. However, it is not something that we do just for the sake of it. A huge part of langar is to provide means for food to those that need it. Langar Week is about letting people know that this is available to them, regardless of faith, gender, ethnicity or status.”

– Sukhwinder Kaur, Sikh Relief
Queues line up at one of the charity's food sessions Credit: Midland Langar Sewa Society

"We have seen a huge surge in the need for free food in Britain due to government cuts and issues with the current living wage.

As Sikhs, we feel it is our duty to help wherever we can. Langar is something that is ingrained in us, so if we can help people in this way it is our duty to let them know about it.”

– Randhir Singh, Midlands Langar Seva Society volunteer
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