Unemployment rises in Northampton during final quarter of 2017

Unemployment in Northampton was up in the final quarter of last year, Government figures have shown.

From October to December 2017, the employment rate in Northampton was 76.5 per cent compared to the previous quarter’s figure of 77.3 per cent.

This fall came against a backdrop of higher unemployment at a national level, with Office of National Statistics figures published this week showing the jobless rate in the UK rising by 0.1 per cent to 4.4 per cent during the last quarter of 2017 - a total of 1.47 million people.

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In that same period, however, employment in the East Midlands increased by 1.3 per cent as 42,000 people found work.

Meanwhile, Jobseeker’s allowance and Universal Credit claimants in Northampton increased last month to 2,260.

The biggest percentage increase came among 18 to 24-year-olds, up by 15 compared to last month, and down by 3.4 per cent when contrasted with last year.

In terms of the national position, the Department for Work and Pensions said that nearly 500,000 more people from black and ethnic minority background (BAME) have started working since 2015, and that the gender employment rate gap is at a near-record low (8.9 per cent).

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Minister for Employment Alok Sharma said: “High employment rates are a reliable feature of today’s economy – and this is an incredible achievement.

"It is equally important that across society everyone has the opportunity to get a good job and get on in life.

"Today’s figures show that this government is building a fairer economy that supports people from all backgrounds to get into work.

"We are closing the BAME and gender employment gaps, and people across the country are accessing new opportunities.”