The Office for National Statistics have released figures today which show that Birmingham and Wolverhampton are two of the top five regions for unemployment in 2012.
The top five areas are:
Glasgow - 30.2%
Liverpool - 28.7%
Hull - 27.6%
Birmingham - 27.4%
Wolverhampton - 27.3%
The UK average was 18.1%
Sickness was the main reason given for not working by people aged 16-64.
The Trade Union Congress has released figures which suggest that workers in the East Midlands have suffered a huge squeeze on their incomes, with average pay falling by 5.7 percent - a loss of almost £26 in the pay packets of employees working a 40-hour week.
This figure is slightly lower than the national average fall of 6.3 percent (£30). However the figures demonstrate that the loss in pay is being felt by families in the East Midlands as incomes fail to keep pace with rising prices.
A vulnerable man from Nottinghamshire says he felt suicidal after racking up payday loans of £7,000.
He initially borrowed just £100 to pay off some bills but soon found the debt spiralling out of control.
Campaigners want tighter controls on payday lending. But one big lender based in Nottingham has today defended its practices. Our correspondent Peter Bearne has more.
Two cities in the Midlands have been identified by a debt charity concerned with the rise in average payday loan debts in the last two years.
StepChange Debt Charity has found that the average payday loan debt in London, Cardiff, Liverpool, Leicester and Birmingham rose between £397 and £563.
In Leicester, clients with payday loan debt saw it rise from £1,204 to £1,642 – a difference of £438. In Birmingham it rose from £1,240 to £1,637 – an increase of £397.
The growing severity of payday loan debt problems coincides with heightening numbers of people experiencing difficulties because of multiple payday loans.