The West Midlands reclaimed its unwanted crown as the UK’s jobless blackspot today, despite a drop in unemployment nationally of 3,000 to around 2.46 million.
Figures for those claiming jobseeker’s allowance were up in all areas of the Black Country.
The numbers make up part of the total jobless figure and, although today’s figures show that figure in the region fell by 7,000 to 252,000 between October and December, the rate of unemployment in the West Midlands, at 9.4 per cent, was the highest of any UK region. It was way above the national average of 7.8 per cent.
Nationally, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance increased by 23,500 last month to 1.64 million, said the Office for National Statistics.
The Jobseeker’s Allowance figures relate to January, after seasonal Christmas work for thousands had come to an end, placing them back on the dole.
The upward trend in people claiming the allowance is reflected across the West Midlands, with the Birmingham figure increasing by 1,145 to 51,263, or 8.1 per cent of the city’s working population.
In Wolverhampton the figure increased by 334 to 12,084 or 8.4 per cent, while in Dudley there was a rise of 452 to 11,189 or 6.1 per cent of the working population.
Sandwell saw a rise of 319 to 13,968, or eight per cent, while Walsall figure also increased, by 118 to 11,255, or 7.5 per cent.
In Kidderminster and the Wyre Forest there was a rise of 190 to 2,767 or 4.7 per cent of the working population, while South Staffs saw an increase of 80 to 2,242 or 3.5 per cent.
The Stafford figure increased by 58 to 2,210, or 2.9 per cent; Lichfield also saw a rise, of 84 to 1,910, or 3.3 per cent and Cannock Chase also increased by 123 to 3,088 or 5.2 per cent of the working population.