Bringing forward major infrastructure projects in the West Midlands, pledged this morning by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, will be a timely intervention to reduce the region’s unemployment, now standing at 9.1 per cent.
Christine Braddock, president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group, said major investment is the way forward to overcome the disappointing 0.6 per cent increase in unemployment figures – the third highest increase across the English regions.
She said: “The employment rate decreased by 0.7 per cent to 67.5 per cent and projects such as high speed rail will create 22,000 jobs in the West Midlands and will create further jobs with the anticipated £1.5 billion per annum of new investment.
“BT has announced the £2.5 billion roll-out of super-fast broadband which will also encourage businesses to invest in the region and create more jobs.
“We would encourage the Government to progress these and other major investment projects as quickly as possible to overcome these disappointing figures, which actually fell in July.”
Mike Ashton, spokesman for West Midlands Chamber of Commerce, said 6.3 per cent of 16 to 64-year-olds are now claiming JSA, a 0.1 per cent increase from last month. He said: “Businesses in the West Midlands need encouragement to create jobs. We have the second highest number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in the UK.”