Unemployment Briefing - January 2020.

This article has been kindly given to the SSCA by Philip Atkins OBE, Leader of Staffordshire County Council via e-mail (philip.atkins@staffordshire.gov.uk).

The latest unemployment claimant figures for January 2020 have been released and an overview of the rates, numbers and trends is attached for information. The latest position for Staffordshire shows the claimant count rate is unchanged at 2.1%, although there has been a rise of 320 claimants to a total of 11,425. A similar increase has also been experienced nationally, with a rise in the number of claimants reflecting the continued impact of Universal Credit rollout. The claimant rate nationally is unchanged.

Staffordshire has the third lowest rate compared to the 14 West Midlands Strategic Authorities, and is lower than the West Midlands (3.8%) and national (2.9%) rates.

Numbers are increasing across all districts with the exception of Staffordshire Moorlands, where the number is unchanged from December 2019 (905).  Tamworth and Lichfield experienced the highest monthly increase, and rates increased in 6 of the 8 districts.  District rates are still well below the national and regional position, with the exception of Tamworth, which remains below the regional position but marginally above the national figure.

New jobs figures today show that employment is at a record high - with more people in work than ever before - and unemployment is at its lowest since 1974, giving families the security of a good job and more money in their pockets thanks to another month of rising wages.

As we embark on a bright future outside the EU, we are delivering on people’s priorities and helping families with the cost of living through lower taxes, higher wages and more well-paid jobs - including by giving the National Living Wage its largest cash boost ever from this April.

At the People’s Government’s first Budget on March 11 we will set out our plans to repay the trust people have placed in us - levelling up and unleashing the country’s potential, ushering in a decade of renewal.

Key statistics:

  • Wages: Average weekly earnings for employees increased by 3.2 per cent compared with a year earlier - growing by 1.8 per cent after adjusting for inflation, - meaning they are at their highest level since before the financial crisis.
  • Employment: A record high of 32.93 million (up 336,000 over the last year and up by 3.89 million since 2010).
  • Unemployment: 1.29 million (down 73,000 over the past year and down by 1.22 million since 2010).
  • Unemployment rate: 3.8 per cent - its lowest since 1974 (down 0.2 points over the past year and down 4.2 points since 2010).
  • Youth unemployment: There are 458,000 fewer young people out of work since 2010 - almost halving since 2010.
  • Women in work: A record high of 15.61 million (up 298,000 over the last year and 1.98 million since 2010).
  • Female employment rate: A record high of 72.4 per cent (up 1.0 point over the past year and 6.9 points since 2010).
  • Disabled people in work: A record high of 4.22 million (up 354,000 over the last year).
  • Ethnic minority employment: A record high of 4.03 million (up 1.29 million since 2010).

These figures show our balanced approach to the economy is working. We are backing businesses across the country to create more, higher-paying jobs through our modern Industrial Strategy and our developing Local Industrial Strategy.

Why does this matter? Because behind every employment number is a person whose self-esteem, mental well-being, economic circumstances and life chances are all vastly improved by being in the workplace. With so many employed and such a small number of people claiming benefits across Staffordshire, this is good news for everyone in the county and means people are making the most of the opportunities on offer.

Our long term economic plan in action shows we are backing businesses to create more, higher-paying jobs and as Staffordshire Conservatives we will continue to help people build a better future for themselves and their families.


Philip Atkins OBE

Leader of Staffordshire County Council


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Claimant Count - January 2020.pdf 273.5 KB