The West Midlands continues to buck the national trend on jobs after figures released showed that the number of people out of work in the region fell by 7,000 to 165,000. Figures for Birmingham were also positive as the number of those unemployed fell. In the West Midlands there was a 0.3% growth in employment and a 1.9 per cent decrease in the Jobseeker’s Allowance Register in West Midlands compared to 0.3% decrease nationally.

Greg Lowson (pictured), president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said:  “The national figures released today are a reminder that there is still a great deal of work to be done in order to secure our economic recovery and that we still need to protect our economic growth by providing assistance to UK businesses.

“Nevertheless, whilst the report does reveal a disappointing quarterly increase in unemployment numbers -  the first for over three years - this should not cause too much concern as the UK labour market is traditionally unpredictable. This is only one month’s worth of figures so we should not read too much into them.

“However, recent figures released by Birmingham City Council highlight a much more positive picture for Birmingham as whilst UK unemployment rises, seasonally adjusted unemployment continues to fall, supporting a significant decline in unemployment over the last two years.

“While our number of unemployed still remains worryingly high in comparison to the UK average, these figures clearly show that the city is moving in the right direction in terms of employment at a time when the rest of the UK seems to be struggling.”