Shropshire jobless total falls for third month

By James Pugh | Business | Published:

Unemployment in Shropshire fell for a third month in a row, the latest figures revealed today.

The latest claimant count figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that 50 fewer people claimed unemployment related benefits in Telford & Wrekin last month – taking the total to 1,825. This represents 1.7 cent of the workforce.

But in the Shropshire Council area, the claimant count increased by 10 to 1,975, meaning that 1.1 per cent of the workforce was receiving jobless benefits.

The 640 people claiming benefits in Powys was down 40 from last month’s figure, leaving the mid Wales county with a claimant rate of 0.8 per cent.

Nationwide the number of people in work has fallen by 56,000, the biggest quarterly drop in more than two years. Much of that may be due to a dramatic drop in the number of self-employed people, down by 41,000.

There are just over 32 million people in employment, but the 56,000 reduction between August and October is the largest since the three months to May 2015, ONS said.

Unemployment fell by 26,000 to 1.4 million, which is 182,000 lower than a year ago and the lowest it has been since 1975.

Gareth Niblett, Job Centre customer services manager for Shropshire, said: "Nationally the picture looks great and I am glad we have seen a drop in unemployment in Shropshire as well.

"We are working with a number of employers who are finishing off their Christmas recruitment.


"We are still receiving lots of vacancies from employers but there is nothing on a large scale to report at the moment.

"We have done a big piece of work with employers around universal credit to raise awareness and tell them what it means.

"Looking ahead to next year we are planning events with employers such as job fairs."

Meanwhile, unemployment has fallen by 14,000 in the West Midlands over recent months, down to just 150,000.


But the number of people in work has also fallen, down by 2,000 to 2.6 million.

ONS statistician Matt Hughes said: "Employment stayed close to its record high and, while up on a year ago, declined compared with the previous three months.

"Unemployment also fell, but there was a rise in the number of people who were neither working nor looking for a job. Meanwhile the number of vacancies continue to grow, reaching a new record high.

"There has been a slight pick-up in pay growth in cash terms, which means that, although earnings are still growing less than inflation, the gap has narrowed."

James Pugh

By James Pugh

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.


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