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South West unemployment remains unchanged in the last quarter

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Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 19 October 2017 13:18

South West unemployment remains unchanged in the last quarter

South West unemployment remains unchanged in the last quarter at 3.6 per cent, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics.

Employment in the region fell by 21,000 to 77.7 per cent, while the national unemployment rate remained at 4.3 per cent – the joint-lowest level since 1975.

Commenting on the labour market statistics, Phil Smith, managing director of Business West, said: “This month’s figures paint a familiar picture of high employment, low joblessness and a labour market in the South West among the country’s very best-performing.

“Nationally, the UK’s continued ability to create jobs remains striking.  

“However, a drop of 1.5 per cent in the South West’s employment rate could suggest that our region’s job-generating capacity is beginning to be stretched.

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“For employers, a tighter labour market brings with it concerns over skills gaps along with growing pressures on wages.”

Business West’s latest local business survey revealed subdued workforce growth during the three months to September, with 63 per cent of firms finding it difficult to recruit suitable staff.

Smith added: “In a period still marked by unprecedented uncertainty, and with sluggish productivity and economic growth, businesses want to see concerted action from government to boost confidence.

“In his Autumn Statement next month, the Chancellor has the opportunity to deliver just that, not least by taking meaningful action to tackle a legacy of infrastructure underinvestment that continues to hold business back. Only then will firms across the West be best placed to repay him with investment, hiring and growth.”



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