The West Midlands is outperforming the rest of the UK when it comes to employment, according to the latest job figures. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show employment in the region rose by 1.0 per cent, compared to a national increase of 0.1 per cent. In a further boost, the inactivity rate (those unable to seek employment) is down by 1.1 per cent, while unemployment remains unchanged.
Elliot Mason, policy and patronage adviser at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “Today’s labour market figures provide yet another reason to feel positive about the West Midlands as we see that our employment rate rose by 1 per cent between June and August. This performance sees us outperforming the other English regions.
“While our unemployment rate showed no movement, the fact that our inactivity rate falling by 1.1 per cent didn’t result in an increase in unemployment could indicate that the region is performing more effectively at getting people into work.
“While these statistics are encouraging we must be cautious in our optimism. Our employment rate remains some way below the national average and our unemployment rate is still one per cent higher than the average for the UK.
“We must also recognise that the impact of the economic volatility that the country has seen since the EU Referendum is unlikely to have translated into the labour market yet.
“Our most recent Quarterly Business Report highlights that business confidence and growth remains robust in the region and today’s labour market statistics suggest that we continue to move in the right direction. However, it is vital that we do not rest on our laurels.”
GBCC have been working with the City-REDI team at the University of Birmingham to conduct an in-depth analysis of the Birmingham economy.
A three-part report will be launched at an event on Tuesday 1 November at the University of Birmingham Business School.
Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from three local experts as they present their perspectives on the city, its place within the regional economy and its future.