Seven people are competing for every vacant job in some parts of the West Midlands, a study has revealed.
The research highlights “the damaging scale of the jobs crisis”, it has been claimed, and comes after unemployment in the region rose against the national trend.
In Wolverhampton there are an average of 7.2 unemployed people chasing every job, while in Birmingham there are 6.7 applicants for each available job, and 6.3 in both Sandwell and Dudley.
Five people are chasing each job in Walsall, according the research, with 2.1 people competing for every job in South Staffordshire, 1.5 in Cannock Chase and 1.4 in Stafford.
Ravi Subramanian, West Midlands regional secretary for the Unison union, which carried out the research, said: “The scale of the ongoing jobs crisis is deeply worrying.
“Three long years of cuts, with more to come, and still there are not enough jobs to go around.
“The Government does have a choice to use the Budget to outline a bold strategy for jobs and growth.
“Make people feel secure in their jobs and they are more likely to spend.
“Give public sector workers a decent pay rise and more money will flow through tills in local shops and businesses, helping our beleaguered high streets.”
Pat McFadden, MP for Wolverhampton South East, said: “We’ve had good news in the past week with Jaguar Land Rover but the jobless total in the region is still too high and we need to see more investment.”
JLR announced this week it is to spend an extra £165 million on its new plant near Wolverhampton and create 700 more jobs.
The research comes after latest figures revealed unemployment in the West Midlands had risen by 3,000 to 238,000.
That was despite national figures showing a drop in unemployment between October and December of 14,000 – down to 2.5 million.
But Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the Government will not change course on the economy.
He said: “There are some people who think we don’t have to take all these tough decisions to deal with our debts.
“They say that our focus on deficit reduction is damaging growth, and what we need to do is to spend more and borrow more.
“It’s as if they think there’s some magic money tree. Well let me tell you a plain truth – there isn’t.
“We are making tough choices about our future. But we are making the right choices.
“If there was another way, an easier way, I would take it. But there is no alternative.”