The March unemployment figures brought further encouraging news for Acocks Green and Birmingham as a whole. While unemployment remains far too high, it is starting to move in the right direction. Acocks Green’s unemployment fell by 36, to make a two month fall of 69, over 5%, leaving unemployment here at 1,198. Across Birmingham as a whole unemployment fell by 450 in March, to 51,685. This is both an absolute and relative improvement, compared to other major UK cities, with Nottingham and Manchester now experiencing higher unemployment rates.
Nationally, unemployment fell 35,000 in the three months to February, leading to a reduction in the unemployment rate from 8.4% to 8.3%. Employment rose by more (53,000 in the quarter) than the fall in unemployment, indicating that the total labour supply in the economy is continuing to grow (by 18,000 in the quarter). This improving labour market data sits rather oddly with the recent low growth figures which traditionally would not be likely to accompany significant employment growth and falls in unemployment. It will be interesting to see if the growth rate picks up, to become more consistent with the labour market data, when the first quarter growth figures are announced.
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