The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show employment rising and unemployment falling across the region.
Although the rate of unemployment in the West Midlands is still well above the UK average, at 5.6 per cent locally compared to 4.8 per cent nationally, the number of people out of work dropped by 7,000 in the period September to November 2016, compared to the previous quarter. However, the overall figure of 161,000 is still 3,000 higher than in September to November 2015.
Employment statistics paint an even more positive picture, up 9,000 on the June to August quarter, and 1.1 per cent higher than the same quarter in 2015. The West Midlands had an overall employment rate of 72.4 per cent at the end of November, compared to the UK average of 74.5 per cent.
However, Rachel Smith from the CBI warned that regional strategies for growing productivity would be needed to combat the likely effect of increased inflation on pay growth over the forthcoming year.
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