Impact of lost businesses felt in latest employment figures

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The impact of a number of high-profile business closures earlier in the year has begun to filter through to the unemployment figures for the East Midlands.

According to data released this morning by the Office for National Statistics, the number of people in work in the three months April to June was 2,279,000 – 18,970 down on the January to March figure of 2,297,969.

The number of people registered as unemployed over the same periods rose 1,619, from 96,530 to 98,149 but the unemployment rate dropped from 4.2% a month ago to 4.1%, which is the same as the UK average.

The yearly figure for people in work was more positive, showing 44,192 employed in the East Midlands in the April to June 2018 period than for the same three months in 2017.

Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at East Midlands Chamber, said: “It was inevitable that we would see a fall in the number of people employed and a rise in unemployment at some point given some of the high-profile business losses reported over the past 12 months.

“It’s reassuring that, as a region, the East Midlands is still recording an unemployment rate that is no worse than the national average at 4.1%.

“But the future is not as bleak as today’s figures might suggest. Every day we see reports of new jobs created and there are some very big projects nearing completion, such as the Segro Strategic Rail Freight Interchange near the airport, or on the horizon that will create thousands of jobs between them.

“This week alone we’ve seen that Norton motorcycles is planning to recruit up to 100 people and expand its factory at Castle Donington, we’ve seen plans for redevelopment of the Imperial Tobacco factory in Nottingham which could create 500 jobs, Joules in Market Harborough is expanding and 50 jobs will be created when a gym and spa in Nottingham.

“This level of jobs creation, particularly when you consider the uncertainty of Brexit, shows just how robust our regional economy is. We still make more here than anywhere in the country and we still contribute more to the national economy than anywhere other than London and the Southeast.”

The number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance in the past month fell overall across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, although Leicester and Leicestershire both saw small rises.