Unemployment falls again in Shropshire but rises for Telford
Unemployment in Shropshire was down again for the three months to April but the figure rose for Telford & Wrekin.
Nationally unemployment fell by 34,000 to 1.3 million, continuing a general trend which started in early 2012.
The West Midlands unemployment figure, which includes Shropshire, was 145,000 - 4,000 lower that in the November to January quarter.
At five per cent it remains ahead of the UK rate of 3.8 per cent, the joint lowest level since the end of 1974, reported the Office for National Statistics.
Breakdown for the region:
- Shropshire saw the claimant count fall by 20 to 3,480 or 1.8 per cent of the working population.
- Telford and Wrekin's claimant count was up 75 to 2,695, or 2.4 per cent of the working population.
- The figure in Powys increased by 35 to 1,135, or 1.5 per cent of the population.
Employment remains at an all-time high in the UK, as the rate for women hit a fresh record.
Employment was up by 32,000 in the three months to April, to 32.7 million with the West Midlands contributing 2.78 million.
The overall employment rate of 76.1 per cent is the joint highest total since records began in 1971.
The number claiming unemployment benefits, including Universal Credit in the West Midlands, rose by 1,915 in May to stand at 124,945 – 3.4 per cent of the working population.
Average earnings increased by 3.1 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. This was slower than a 3.3 per cent rise last month.
The employment rate for women was the highest on record at 72 per cent, following changes to the state pension age which have resulted in fewer women retiring between the ages of 60 and 65.
Matt Hughes, deputy head of labour market statistics at the ONS, said: "With employment growth among women coming from full-timers, the overall gap between men and women in hours worked is now the lowest ever – women now average about three-quarters of men's weekly hours, compared with around two-thirds 25 years ago."
The number of job vacancies for March to May 2019 was 837,000, which was 11,000 more than a year earlier but 12,000 fewer than for the three months to February 2019.
The ONS said the number of vacancies had generally been increasing since 2012, but has been falling since early 2019.
Mr Hughes added: "Overall, the labour market continues to be strong, with employment still at a joint record rate.
"However, while the number of vacancies remains high, it has fallen back slightly from the historic highs seen at the turn of the year."