THE number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) has steadily dropped, apart from a couple of small blips, since January last year. Figures have moved down from 4,938 in January 2012 to the latest December 2012 figures of 4,130. However, while JSA claimants have fallen, the latest figure for the number of people out of work in the West Midlands has risen by 13,000.
The region’s rise in unemployment is not surprising, as Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group’s latest quarterly survey, shows the number of companies recruiting is falling. We are constantly told that businesses don’t have the confidence to invest in new people.
While this is not good news for the West Midlands, here in Solihull we are in a slightly better place. We have Jaguar Land Rover which announced it is to create up to 800 new jobs at its advanced manufacturing facility at Lode Lane. The company’s recruitment campaign for production operators is underway and so is a £370 million investment programme for its Solihull site.
The Chamber is working with local schools in helping young people to find jobs by bringing employers to the table. But the Government needs to do more to stimulate demand and growth through infrastructure investment.
Many businesses are working under capacity and unless we can get increasing demand for services, products and sales, we are heading towards a serious situation.