The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in the West Midlands region dropped by 1,800 over the last month, according to the latest ONS figures.

Phil Bennion Dan Stone Ann Poulding Steelite WS-IMG 0933
Apprenticeships are a vital tool in the campaign to create a million new jobs, says Phil Bennion. Last week he spent a day as an apprentice at Steelite in Stoke, with former apprentice Dan Stone and Training Officer Ann Poulding. Steelite is keen to encourage other businesses take the plunge and set up apprenticeship schemes.
The figure is in contrast to a rise in the headline figure for unemployment of 16,000. Nationwide, the overall total for unemployment dropped by 57,000 in the last quarter.

The number of people claiming JSA fell in every region last month. Across the UK, this figure has now fallen in every one of the last nine months and the total number is down by 120,000 since this time last year.

In addition, there are 16,000 more people in work across the UK than last month and 336,000 more than a year ago.

West Midlands MEP Phil Bennion, Lib Dem Employment Spokesman in the European Parliament, said:

"This fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in our region is more in line with the slowly improving national picture and is a good sign.

"Combined with the national rise in the total number of people in employment, recent figures suggest that overall our economy is recovering, with key exporting manufacturers leading the way.

"There is still a long way to go and no stone should be left unturned by government at all levels to help business focus on the core priority of creating jobs and growing the economy, while still doing the right thing to tackle the budget deficit.

"Against this background, I welcome the Lib Dem decision to make a million new jobs their number one policy and campaign priority.

"Jobs are the key building block in creating a stronger economy and fairer society that allows everyone to get on in life.

"Government, the EU, councils and business leaders must work together to promote job creation, especially in encouraging businesses to take on apprentices and improve training.

"Flexible EU budgets to promote research and boost infrastructure and improve transport, power and broadband networks are also vital to help businesses compete and create new jobs."



155,200 people were claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in the West Midlands region in June 2013, 1,800 fewer than were claiming in May.

The headline figure of unemployment was 268,000, up by 16,000. Nationwide the figure dropped by 57,000 since the last quarter, including a 20,000 drop in youth unemployment. In addition, there are 16,000 more people in work than last month and 336,000 more in comparison to this time last year.