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Dr David Owen on UK monthly unemployment figures

Dr David Owen, expert in employment, discusses the UK monthly unemployment figures.

"The UK unemployment rate for 16-64 year olds increased very slightly over the last 3 months (November to February compared with August to October 2017), but this was composed of a small fall for men and a slightly larger increase for women. For the West Midlands, the unemployment rate fell very slightly for both men and women over this period, but the fall was larger for men than for women. In the UK as a whole, the percentage of both men and women in the labour force and the percentage of men and women in work increased slightly. However, in the West Midlands, the percentage in work did not change, but the percentage of men in the workforce fell, slightly more than the fall for women. This suggests that the more favourable trend for the West Midlands may be the result of formerly unemployed people (mainly men) no longer looking for work".

"At the local scale, unemployment has been increasing sharply (568 more JSA claims in February 2017 than December 2017 - an increase of 20.6%, but only 25 more than 1 February 2017) in Coventry during 2018 (for both men and women), but has fallen in Birmingham (by 783 or 3.6% and by 2.6 thousand or 11.3% 2017-18). However, the unemployment rate for Coventry is 2 per cent, less than half that for Birmingham (4.1 per cent)".


Kim Ingram

Assistant Press Officer

Tel: 02476 (5) 75601, International +44 2476 575601