Unemployment drops in Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, and Staffordshire, but rises in Dudley

Unemployment has dropped in Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, and Staffordshire bucking the trend in the West Midlands, yet as the national figure fell to a seven-year low, unemployment has risen in Dudley new figures have shown.

Unemployment drops in Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell, and Staffordshire, but rises in Dudley

Big falls in unemployment in most parts of the UK saw the nation's jobless total dip by 79,000 to 1.7 million between June and August, the lowest figure since the summer of 2008.

In the West Midlands unemployment rose by 1,000 to 165,000, however, the city has seen a decrease in the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance, with the number down by 187 in September, to 6,211 or 3.9 per cent.

Across the UK, the number of people in work increased by 140,000 in the same three months to 31 million, the highest since records began in 1971.

But the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance and the unemployment element of Universal Credit – the so-called claimant count – increased last month by 4,600 to 796,200.

Scroll down to find out the figures for your area.

Wolverhampton

The city's economy boss called the figures 'great news' for Wolverhampton.

The figures come just a week after tyre firm Goodyear confirmed the closure of its Bushbury Lane plant with the loss of more than 300 jobs.

The site will shut completely by January 2017.

Councillor John Reynolds, cabinet member for city economy, said: "This is great news for Wolverhampton and shows the city is on the up on the back of significant regeneration projects.

"A number of major employers have moved into the area in recent times, such as Jaguar Land Rover and Wiggle, and around 400 jobs will be created by the construction of Pantheon Park in Wednesfield next year.

"More than £868 million of investment in the city centre is either on site or in the pipeline, including the £35m refurbishment of the Mander Centre, which is set to start in January.

"The council continues to work closely with its city partners to provide recruitment and training opportunities."

Sandwell

In Sandwell the unemployment benefits claimant count fell by 55 to 6,641, or 3.3 per cent – the UK average is 1.9 per cent.

Sandwell performed better than Dudley and Walsall in lowering queues at the Job Centre. West Bromwich West MP Adrian Bailey welcomed the figures but warned people could be finding themselves in low paid jobs.

Mr Bailey added: "Any reduction in unemployment is to be welcomed, however the slowdown in wage growth could mean that more people are being employed but with lower wages.

"And therefore the figures must be treated with caution. The level of unemployment is still almost twice the national average in West Bromwich West."

Sandwell Council deputy leader, Councillor Steve Eling, said figures were still too high but the authority was working hard to tackle the problem.

"Any reduction is going to be good news for the area but we can't rest on our laurels, it's clear to see that the West Midlands employment rate is far too high," he said.

"As a council we are always looking to bring in new business and it is a crucial part of the economic development work we do, it has brought some great success for the area.

"We've created a significant number of jobs, where we encourage all employers to employ Sandwell people, especially when we've helped to find sites and premises.

"The opportunity is there to recruit locally and decrease the numbers on Jobseekers Allowance."

Walsall

In Walsall the claimant count fell by 53 to 4,391 or 2.6 per cent of the working population for the borough.

Councillor Mike Bird, leader of Walsall Council, welcomed the news and said he hoped the figures would continue to improve over the upcoming festive period.

He said: "As we are coming towards the Christmas period there will be a lot of people taking on casual workers and that may have contributed to this fall in unemployment. However, this is always something to be welcomed and it is always good to hear more people in Walsall are in work."

Staffordshire

Staffordshire is enjoying record low unemployment figures, with more than 4,000 people in the county claiming jobseeker's allowance, the latest statistics reveal.

In Staffordshire, the overall unemployment benefits claimant count was up 232 to 4,751, although the rate of claimants among the county's working population remained at its historic low of 0.9 per cent.

But the county council said the number of people just claiming jobseeker's allowance fell to an all-time low in the county of 4,249 in September.

In Stafford, overall claimants rose by 13 to 657, or 0.8 per cent, but elsewhere the figures were better.

In South Staffordshire, the claimant count was down by 33 to 685, or one per cent of the district's working population, while in Cannock Chase it was down by 34 to 729, or 1.2 per cent. In Lichfield, the claimant count was down by just one, to 410 in September, or 0.7 per cent.

It comes as Cannock-based courier firm APC Overnight announced last month that it was set to deliver 100 new jobs.

Earlier this year online retail giant Amazon conducted its own recruitment drive, also looking to bring in 100 temporary workers at its Rugeley depot.

Staffordshire County Council's economy chief Mark Winnington said: "Many visitors will know that we are home to global leaders like Jaguar Land Rover and JCB, but we are attracting more and more smaller firms in our key sector industries at innovation sites like Keele.

"Our efforts to increase the skills of our workforce so people can make the most of the growing number of better paid jobs will not go unnoticed by potential investors.

"This and record low unemployment figures add to the Staffordshire offer when attracting new business and retaining successful companies."

Dudley

The borough was the only area in the Black Country to see jobless figures rise – a trend repeated in the West Midlands as a whole.

Conservative MP Mike Wood, who represents Dudley South, today said the Government's economic plan is working, despite the latest rise in employment.

Falls in unemployment saw the nation's jobless total dip by 79,000 to 1.7 million between June and August, the lowest figure since the summer of 2008.

But in the West Midlands unemployment rose by 1,000 to 165,000.

The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance and the unemployment element of Universal Credit – the so-called claimant count – increased last month by 4,600 to 796,200.

In Dudley, the figure rose by 16 to 5,185, or 2.7 per cent of the district's workforce – above the UK average claimant rate of 1.9 per cent.

Mr Wood said: "In Dudley South there are 300 fewer people out of work than this time last year, which is a clear indication that the Chancellor's plan for the economy is working and is providing security and jobs for local people.

"We need to take over a long-term picture, that is a clear indication of what employers are doing – you might get peaks and troughs throughout the year."

Elsewhere there was better news. In Kidderminster and Wyre Forest the figure was down by seven to 742, or 1.3 per cent.

MP for Wyre Forest, Mark Garnier, said the drop was in the right direction but more still needed to be done.

"We need to work on more skills training locally," he said.

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