South West unemployment remains lowest in the country

By Anita Jaynes on 14 October, 2015

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) today released the Labour Market Statistics for the 3 months ending August 2015:
· Unemployment in the South West fell by 13,000 to 4.0%. This is down 0.5% on the quarter and 0.6% compared to this time last year.

· Employment in the South West increased by 47,000 to 78.4%, the highest of any UK region and above the national average.

· Total UK unemployment decreased by 79,000 and stands at 5.4%, a seven year low.

· The youth unemployment rate fell to 14.8%%. This is down on both the quarter and the year, but remains way above average unemployment and the pre-recession low of 11.6%.

Commenting on the labour market statistics, Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West, said:

“Today we see yet more positive news coming out the labour market, with national unemployment at a seven year low. The South West is spearheading this drive, with the highest employment and lowest unemployment of any UK region, a testament to the talent of and determination of businesses in our part of the country.

“Last month we saw the South West top the national employment rankings, and the latest data sees us carry on this trend. From a glance at this news you could be forgiven in thinking that the labour market is performing well, but this doesn’t tell the whole story. The headlines mask a skills gap that we know is still hurting firms day in day out.

“Youth unemployment is down on both the quarter and the year, but remains almost three times higher than average unemployment and above pre-recession levels. Today’s news comes on the same day that a national survey by the British Chambers of Commerce found that the vast majority of business, school and college leaders want ministers to recognise the importance of pre-16 work experience. Make no mistake about it, although today’s figures show a fall in youth unemployment, there is still work to be done.”

Pictured above: Phil Smith, managing director of Business West