Unemployment gap closes in on East Midlands

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The county’s employment rate is still fighting fit - despite a close in the gap between the number of people of out of work in the East Midlands and the rest of the country.

The UK’s unemployment rate reached 4.3 per cent for the three months to the end of July - the lowest since 1975 - while the East Midlands figure was just 3.9 per cent.

Between June and August the East Midlands rate rose to 4.2 per cent, while the national figure stayed the same.

The number of Job Seekers’ Allowance claimants in Derbyshire increased by 105 to 6,520 from the previous month.

Chris Hobson, director of policy at East Midlands Chamber, commented: “While the change is relatively small – a shift equivalent to just three people per thousand workers – and still places the East Midlands in a better position than the rest of the country, it’s not something we would want to see develop as a trend.

“For quite some time now, the East Midlands has enjoyed lower unemployment than the rest of the country, indicating strength in the regional economy. It’s possible this is just a seasonal blip and the differential will be restored next month, but that’s something we won’t know until the next set of figures are released.

“In the short term, since the Brexit vote, members have enjoyed good sales performances domestically and overseas, as evidenced by our quarterly economic surveys, but this is a time of great uncertainty and there are a lot of questions that still need answers to ensure business confidence. One such question is the rights of UK workers in the EU and EU workers in the UK.”