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Recruitment Agency say downturn in tourism is greater than other years

Recruitment agency Manpower UK says the downturn in tourism employment across the South West this year is greater now than it has been for years. Manpower UK says their survey shows a majority of employers in the South West won't be taking on new staff.

James Hick is from Manpower UK:

They say the South West will lag behind the rest of the country. The powerhouse of London and the South East are predicted to do well and manufacturing in the East and West Midlands gives the area a huge boost. But employment growth in the South West is predicted to stall.

Manpower UK say some employers have stopped trying to find IT workers, engineers and financiers because they know the skills they're looking for don't exist. Contraction there and saturation of the tourism employment market explains why businesses aren't expecting growth in jobs.

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Unemployment rises in the South West

The number of people out of work in the South West has risen despite a decrease in unemployment nationally.

Official figures show the number of unemployed people in the region now stands at 137,000 - an increase of 1,000 from the previous quarter. According to the recruitment group Manpower, employers in the south west say they're unliikely to take on staff over the coming months.

Labour candidate joins call for Minor Injuries Unit at Cossham Hospital

A petition of 14,000 signatures has been handed to South Gloucestershire's health bosses calling for a Minor Injuries Unit at Cossham Hospital.

Jo McCarron, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Kingswood, says a local service is important for the people in her constituency.

Campaigners held a protest outside in Kingswood Park this morning. People living in the area say they were promised the unit after one at Frenchay Hospital closed.

Mayor: it's "irresponsible nonsense to talk of a 'black hole'"

George Ferguson says it's "irresponsible nonsense to talk of a 'black hole' Credit: Rod Minchin/PA

Questions have been raised over a thirteen million pound funding black hole for Bristol's arena project.

The Liberal Democrat Bristol City Councillor Tim Kent says the city's mayor, who is behind the scheme, hasn't given enough information on how the twelve thousand seater Arena will be financed. George Ferguson says it's "irresponsible nonsense to talk of a 'black hole' and project is a long term investment.

The £90 million plus project budget for the arena is based on a business case report but, as with all large projects, it is inevitable that there will be variances as we test some of the assumptions made in that report. The budget, agreed at Cabinet, identified £53 million from the City Deal Economic Development Fund and £38 million to come back to the council from rental and other related income.

As we move forward, of course some of the initial predictions for elements of that £38 million income will vary. This may result in the arena breaking-even earlier or later than predicted. However it must be understood that this is a long term investment that will break-even over the 25 year life of the project and will deliver millions of pounds of investment to the city region. It is irresponsible nonsense to talk of a 'black hole'.

The arena has been a long held aspiration for the city that we are now well on the way to delivering. Shortlisting teams for the design competition will start next week and, crucially, we are due to appoint an operator by the end of the year. No-one has ever pretended that this would be easy but it is a priority for Bristol and the region and the report to scrutiny shows that we are fully aware of the challenges. We are taking the necessary steps to address any potential gaps in funding whilst remaining completely committed to delivering this vitally important venue, that is a major catalyst for the regeneration of the enterprise zone and the wider city region.

– George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol

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Positive unemployment figures for South West

The latest jobs figures for the South West show 137,000 people were unemployed in our region for the months May to July 2014. This is a slight increase on the previous quarter of February to April when 136,000 were out of work.

The unemployment rate has risen 0.1% to 5.0%, which is still one of the lowest rates it's been for the last 6 years.

Across the whole of the UK unemployment fell by 146,000 to 2.02million in the three months to the end of the July. The unemployment rate fell to 6.2%, its lowest rate since the September to November 2008.

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