Greater Manchester has a worrying ‘pattern of increasing’ unemployment rates, according to a new government report.
Figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the unemployment rate is highest in the North East at 11.3 per cent followed by London at 9.7 percent and the North West at 9.4 per cent for the February to April 2012 period for people aged 16 and over.
The Labour Force Survey shows a 1 per cent increase of unemployment from 9.3 per cent in November – January 2012 and reveals that the number of workforce jobs dropped by 33,000 in the North West – the only decrease across the country.
Baron Frankal, director of economic strategy at Manchester think-tank New Economy, said: “If the economy is about one thing in particular, it is about jobs, and the Greater Manchester figures out today flag yet again that our economy is not yet producing the jobs that we need for the people that need them.”
Mr Frankal added: “Many of our jobseekers have been reduced to spectators, helplessly watching the roller coaster ride that is today’s UK economy, with inflation going up then down, and Greece leaving and returning to the Eurozone.”
Despite the disheartening figures, the report also revealed that claimant count for Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) fell across the North West.
Dr Brian Sloan, Chief Economist at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “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.”
Dr Sloan added: “Our Quarterly Economic Survey from the first quarter of this year accurately predicted this positive trend, 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.
“Low growth and further public sector cuts to come will likely lead to an increase in the headline numbers in the following months, but we must focus on nurturing confidence as the potential for growth in our region is great.”