Unemployment rate in East Midlands is 'promising' as numbers drop

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The East Midlands’ unemployment rate has dropped to 3.4 per cent for the period between February and April 2023, new figures by the Office for National Statistics show.

This is down from 3.7 per cent in the previous reporting period to March, which had been the highest level in 18 months, while it remains below the UK average of 3.8 per cent.

While the region’s economic inactivity rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point to 21.5 per cent.

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Scott Knowles, East Midlands Chamber chief executiveScott Knowles, East Midlands Chamber chief executive
Scott Knowles, East Midlands Chamber chief executive

Scott Knowles, East Midlands Chamber chief executive, said: “These figures are relatively promising as they suggest the unemployment rate isn’t spiralling upwards after reaching an 18-month peak in the previous set of data.

“Despite the economic challenges being faced by businesses, they continue to display great resilience by pursuing growth opportunities and seeking to recruit, with our own research via the Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey showing a net 2 per cent growth in the proportion of East Midlands businesses adding to their headcount in the past three months.

“However, future recruitment prospects are less optimistic, with a net 6 per cent decline for the next three months.

“With intentions to invest in training also down, this suggests businesses need support from Government to invest in their people, whether that be in upskilling their existing workforce or reskilling prospective employees to fill skills gaps.

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“We would also like to see Government work with businesses to offer support, and share best practice, on what a flexible and inclusive workplace looks like as this is another vital ingredient in enticing people back to work.”