Facebook - Birmingham Business Twitter - Birmingham Business Instagram - Birmingham Business

More job opportunities required

The latest round of job figures highlight a need for greater employment opportunities in the West Midlands, business leaders say.

Although unemployment in the region decreased by 0.4 per cent, it still remains well above national figures. And West Midlands employment levels are still below the national average, having fallen by 0.4 per cent between December 2018 and February 2019.

But the UK enjoyed its fastest rise in nominal wages since 2008 in the year to May 2019, while real basic wages rose by 1.7 per cent for the last quarter.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce say the Government must create more job opportunities outside of the south of England in order to tackle regional unemployment and boost employment.

Chief executive Paul Faulkner said: “It is great to see wages continuing to outpace inflation, which for those in work will mean pay cheques are going further. It is also positive to see a drop in the region’s high unemployment rate. However, this remains well above national figures.

“In the same period, unemployment in the South East fell by the same amount to 2.8 per cent. In the West Midlands, the drop was also accompanied by a drop in employment – which remains significantly behind the national average.

“These statistics only reiterate the need emphasised in our latest Quarterly Business Report to create greater employment opportunities outside of the south. The construction of HS2 is central to this process, and we are pleased to see politicians recognising this.

“Already supporting over 9,000 jobs across the country, HS2 is expected to create over 100,000 jobs in the West Midlands alone - opportunities the region is determined local residents will be able to access. We now urge the House of Lords to similarly demonstrate their commitment to balancing the UK economy by passing the HS2 Phase 2A: High Speed Rail (West Midlands to Crewe) Bill.”

Pictured: Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner

Chamber says HS2 already benefiting region

Business leaders confident Government-backed review will show project's positive impact

21st August 2019

HS2 hosts online meet and greet

Potential suppliers learn more about project

10th November 2020

Business leaders call for economy rebalance

Chamber says rise in employment positive progress but only the first step

22nd January 2020

CORONAVIRUS: Cash now needs to get to businesses quickly

Reaction to chancellor's latest financial help package

18th March 2020

HS2 reveals plans for northern links

Business leaders welcome expansion announcements

8th October 2020

Chief executive leaves Chamber

New role with Richardson family business awaits

5th January 2021

Business leaders will continue HS2 campaign

Chambers say news of opening delay is disappointing

3rd September 2019

Survey reveals firms braced for price hike

New figures show West Midlands companies expect to increase their prices

18th September 2019

Biggest ever slump hits region's firms

Chamber report reveals extent of pandemic impact

16th June 2020

Report reveals cashflow worries

Chamber says Coronavirus has heightened existing problems

15th April 2020

Extended furlough scheme is welcomed

Business leaders say it's a lifeline for firms across the UK

12th May 2020

Search is on for HS2 station contractor

Project could support up to 1,000 jobs at peak of construction

14th June 2021

Exports hold up despite disruption

Chamber survey shows businesses report increase in international sales

10th May 2021

Business leaders pledge to work with Mayor

Partnership approach will help region get back on its feet

10th May 2021

Briefing paper gives election low-down

Still undecided? Chamber analyses key manifesto points

11th December 2019