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Number of people in work continues to rise

Published Friday, 16 August 2019

The West Midlands has seen a further increase in the number of people in work.

With an economy already growing faster than anywhere else outside London the region saw a 0.5 per cent rise in its employment rate between April and June compared to the previous quarter.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics also show that unemployment in the West Midlands fell by 0.5 per cent – the second biggest drop of any UK region.

Across the UK as a whole the employment rate stayed static while the unemployment rate rose by 0.1 per cent.

Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) Portfolio Holder for Productivity and Skills, added: “The figures are encouraging and show that while we remain slightly below the UK average in terms of the overall employment rate we are closing the gap.

“Our goal now is to maintain that upward trend which is why the WMCA has put in place a comprehensive skills programme.

“This is to help equip local people with the modern skills needed to fill the jobs being created, especially in the advanced manufacturing, digital and construction sectors.”

The WMCA agreed a Skills Deal with government last year unlocking up to £69million in funding to boost digital and technical skills, job opportunities and productivity across the region.

The Deal also focuses on supporting more young people and adults into work as well as upskilling and retraining local people of all ages.

The investment is aimed at easing recruitment difficulties experienced by firms due to local skill shortages.

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