The latest data released by the Office for National Statistics today shows that unemployment in the South West fell by 7,000 people, and the jobless rate in the region is one of the lowest levels in the country.
The figures, covering the three months ending November, found that:
· South West unemployment has decreased by 0.2% and stands at 3.8%.
· Nationally, unemployment rate fell to 5.1%, a 10 year low.
· However, youth unemployment remains high at 13.7%, over twice as high as total unemployment.
Commenting on the labour market statistics, Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West, said: “The labour market remains a source of strength for our economy, and the latest figures provide another boost for the South West after our local business survey found that the region ended 2015 on a high.
“National unemployment has fallen to a ten year low, and our region is spearheading this drive with one of the lowest levels of unemployment in the country. But there are still challenges ahead.
“Low unemployment will bring its own pressures, with a tight labour market and skills shortages in some sectors, such as IT and engineering, making it difficult for business to take new people on at affordable rates.
“Long term planning is needed from government, education providers and business to ensure that these pressures don’t hold us back.”
Pictured above: Phil Smith, managing director of Business West