Updated: Tuesday, 22nd October 2019 @ 2:03pm

Manchester's road to recovery? National Jobseeker claims and unemployment rate lowest for years

Manchester's road to recovery? National Jobseeker claims and unemployment rate lowest for years

| By Sean Butters

Dole queues are at their shortest since November 2008, according to figures released by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

The data, published on Wednesday, also shows that the national unemployment level is at a five-year low.

In stark contrast, the North West hit its lowest employment rate for two years in January, according to a recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) report.

However, bucking the regional trend, the future is looking bright for Mancunians as 14,890 people are now registered as unemployed, compared to a peak of 20,554 in March 2012 – a decrease of 1.6% to a rate of 4.1%.

While the North West experienced a 0.3% jump in employment numbers.

The number of claimants has also dropped in all ten boroughs across Greater Manchester.

There are currently 58,667 (3.3%) people claiming JSA in the area, down from a 16-year high of 88,021 in February 2012 – a drop of 1.7%.

Christian Spence, Head of Business Intelligence at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, commended the progress made but outlined the importance of continuing development.

“The outlook is positive but there are areas where work must continue, particularly in supporting young people and those furthest from the labour market into work,” he said.

“This is so that a large a portion of the labour force can benefit from the strong economic recovery.”

“Sectors – such as manufacturing, construction and the important retail, leisure and accommodation industries – have been seeing above-inflation pay rises for some time.

“With the exception of the public sector, we expect these levels of growth to move into other sectors over the coming quarters.”

A Department of Work and Pensions spokesperson was optimistic about progress made in the North West.

“This shows that the growing economy is helping people to find new opportunities and turn their lives around,” they said.

These figures tie in with the number of women in work, which has risen by 13,000 since the period of August-October 2013, according to the ONS report.

However, the rate of men who are working or classed as ‘economically active’ continues to drop, with male employment at 60.5% – its lowest point for two years.

Image courtesy of Phoney Nickle, with thanks