Logistics helps drive growth in Mersey job market as youth unemployment rate plummets

Latest data from the Department for Work and Pensions and Office for National Statistics shows a jobless rate at historic lows and wage growth at last exceeding inflation. Tony McDonough reports

The UK employment rate of 4.2% is the lowest since 1975, new data shows


Logistics and care homes are the main growth areas for new jobs across the Liverpool city region, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

On Tuesday the DWP released its latest figures for the numbers of people unemployed as well as the claimant count and growth in wages.

LBN has decided not to publish detailed monthly claimant count figures for six boroughs of the Liverpool city region as the gradual roll-out of Universal Credit makes accurate comparisons with previous data problematic.

Instead, we offer a broad brush prospective on the employment market across Merseyside. We can offer a like-for-like comparison for the city of Liverpool specifically where the current monthly claimant count – 11,990 – is about the same as it was 12 months ago.

Claimant count

However, in line with the rest of the UK, there has been a significant reduction in the claimant count for those people in the 18 to 24 age group in the Liverpool city region, falling 9% to 2,115.

Clive Morris, a spokesman for the DWP in Merseyside, told LBN: “Claimant trends in this age group have been consistently falling over the past 12 months and are broadly in line with the rest of the country.

“The department, through JobCentre Plus, has been working hard to offer maximum support to young people and educate them on what it is the labour market locally is looking for.”

In terms of the biggest rise in vacancies Mr Morris added the city region’s logistics, which includes warehousing and transportation, and care home sectors were the main growth areas.

He said: “As you can see by the growth of the visitor economy in Merseyside there is demand for workers in the hospitality sector as well as pockets of demand in production, retail and call centres.”

North West rise

Across the UK, the unemployment rate stood at 4.2% in during December to February, its lowest rate since 1975. Overall, 32.34m people are now in work,197,000 more than during October to December 2017 and there are 1.42m unemployed and seeking work.

However, in the North West there was actually a rise of 8,000 in the number of people out of work, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) with the jobless total reaching 154,000.

The one bright spot in the ONS data was earnings which have grown faster than inflation for the first time in more than a year. The annual rate of 2.9% in the three-month period was above the inflation rate of 2.7%.

However, the general secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady said: “Working people are still not getting a fair deal. Millions of jobs do not pay a real living wage. And average weekly pay is still worth much less than a decade ago.”

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