The latest national unemployment figures continue to show a steady three month decline that is completely at odds with current growth figures, which indicate we are in a recession. In the last three months unemployment fell by 65,000 to 2.58m or 8.1% of the workforce. The number employed grew by 181,000, in the three months, to 29.35m; unemployment fell by a lower amount because the workforce grew by 116,000. Further encouragement comes from analysis which shows the vast majority of the new jobs (133,000) were full time and just 48,000 were part time. Moreover in the 9 months since last September the UK’s workforce has grown by more than in the full calendar years of 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007, which would indicate an economy growing at a reasonable rate and certainly not shrinking, as the GDP figures indicate. Its a mystery, which I’ve pointed out before and is baffling economists. Since employment is easier to count that GDP, its more likely that the GDP figures are wrong, but we will only probably find out for sure in the years to come when the data is rechecked and reanalysed.
Looking more closely at our patch, the monthly figures show a small increase in seasonally adjusted unemployment in Birmingham, which rose by 233 to 50,834 in June. On an unadjusted basis Birmingham’s unemployment fell by 473 to 49,294 in the same time period. In Acocks Green unadjusted unemployment fell by 3 in the month to 1,178, which is 68 higher than a year ago. On an annual basis the best performing Birmingham ward is Kingstanding (down 34) and the worst performing is Lozells and East Handsworth (up 206).
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