A decline in the number of people seeking work has been welcomed by Shropshire businesses, writes business editor Thom Kennedy.
Employment grew by 212,000 to 29.59 million between June and August, the highest since records began in 1971, while the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance fell last month, by 4,000 to 1.57 million.
But the Office for National Statistics reported that part-time employment had hit a record high of 8.13 million after a 125,000 increase between March and May. The unemployment figure was helped by a fall in the number of jobseekers in Shropshire.
During September, the area covered by Shropshire Council also saw its first fall in claimants since June, with 4,845 signing on during September compared with 4,928 in August.
Telford & Wrekin also enjoyed its first fall in claimants since June, to 4,484, compared with 4,563 in August. Shane Hawkins, managing director of Shropshire-based C2 recruitment, said: “These figures are not a surprise as we have seen a solid increase in businesses around looking to recruit both locally and nationally.”
Shropshire Chamber of Commerce vice president Keith Winter added: “The overall mood of businesses is still that there is not a lot of light at the end of the tunnel and it will be a tough couple of years. They are only taking on where they have demand, and it’s going to be a slow upward climb, and not a straight line.
“That said, it’s great news that youth employment has gone up, as well as employment as a whole.”
Overall in the West Midlands, unemployment increased by 5,000 to 233,000, a rate of 8.6 per cent. The number of unemployed people in Wales fell by 7,000 to 125,000.