Updated: Friday, 7th August 2020 @ 1:30pm

North West unemployment rise continues despite national downturn in jobless figures

North West unemployment rise continues despite national downturn in jobless figures

By Sean-Paul Doran

Unemployment in the North West is rising despite a national fall, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics.

The statistics show that in the three months to April, 325,000 people across the North West were actively seeking employment – 9.4% of the working population.

This figure is an increase on the national rate, where 8.2% of the population are currently jobless, a total of 2.61million.

However, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Greater Manchester has fallen for the third successive month to 84,432, a decrease of 1,378.

Again, these figures contrast with the national trend where the claimant count has risen by 8,100 in May compared to April to 1.6million.

Dr Brian Sloan, chief economist at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce said the figures were as expected for the region.

"The figures reinforce the positive message for job seekers that the private sector across our region is experiencing some growth, and with it creating jobs.

“However the scale of jobs actually created has not matched expectations showing that the current uncertainty over the economic outlook is putting a brake on appointments.”

The difference in definitions means that the number of people unemployed does not correlate exactly with those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Unemployment figures are calculated using the number of people actively looking for a job whereas the claimant figure shows those entitled to unemployment benefits and who are claiming them.

Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trade Union Congress, welcomed the fall in national unemployment.

He said: “Today’s figures show some long overdue good news in the labour market. New full-time jobs have been created and employment is up while unemployment has fallen.

“However, there are still real concerns about this being a sustainable recovery.”

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