Unemployment Briefing - October 2019.

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 position for October 2019 shows Staffordshire’s claimant count rate has remained at 2.0% (10,755 claimants), up slightly from 10,450 claimants in September. However, the rate in Staffordshire remains one of the lowest rates out of the 14 West Midlands strategic authorities, and well below the West Midlands (3.7%) and national (2.8%) rates.

The claimant count (available for downloading at the bottom of this article) has increased in Staffordshire across all districts, with Lichfield and East Staffordshire experiencing the highest monthly increase, however these remain in line with the county position, and well below national and regional rates.  As detailed in the last update, the reason for the continued increase is the roll out of Universal Credit, which was recently validated by Department for Work and Pensions.

Labour however means more dither and delay on Brexit whilst their economic plans would wreck the economy – leaving us with more debt, higher taxes and fewer jobs, hurting the people they claim to help the most.

Key national statistics:

  • The unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 1974. The unemployment rate is currently 3.8 per cent - it has not been lower since 1974 (ONS, Labour market statistics, 12 November 2019, link).​
  • Full time employment: At a record high, and up by almost 3 million since 2010. In the three months to September, there were 24,213,000 people working full time that is up from 21,221,000 in period covering February- April 2010 (the last full period that Labour were in power).
  • Employment32.8 million (up 323,000 over the last year and up by 3.7 million since 2010).​
  • Employment rate: 76.0 per cent (up 0.5 points over the past year and up 5.8 points since 2010).​
  • Unemployment: 1.3 million (down 71,500 over the past year and down by 1.20 million since 2010.​
  • Wages: Average weekly earnings for employees increased by 3.6 per cent compared with a year earlier - growing by 1.8 per cent after adjusting for inflation - meaning people have more money in their pockets. Wages have increased ahead of prices for 20 months in a row.​
  • Youth unemployment: There are 438,000 fewer young people out of work since 2010 - almost halving since 2010.​
  • Female employment: There are 1.8 million more women in work since 2010​.
  • Ethnic minority: The number of people from an ethnic minority in work is at a record high. There are 1.2 million more people from an ethnic minority background in work since January-march 2010, increasing from 2,736,000 to 4,026,000.​
  • Disabled: The number of disabled people in work has increased by 1.3 million, and is now at a record high with the number of disabled people out of work at a record low.​

Conservatives have also increased the personal allowance to £12,500 a year early so that people can keep more of what they earn. We have cut income tax for 32 million people and taken 1.74 million people out of paying tax altogether. An average rate taxpayer is paying £1,205 less tax this year than in 2010-11. We are helping families with the cost of living so they have more money in their pockets.

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 - October 2019.pdf 185.56 KB