Latest job figures for Rugby show signs of improvement

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Figures showing people claiming out of work benefits in Rugby have fallen again.

This reflects the general pattern across the country, which shows that more people are getting back to work.

However, business leaders have reacted with caution to a slight rise in unemployment in the Coventry and Warwickshire area.

The Job Centre said that there has been a nine per cent fall on the figures 12 months ago - a reduction of 200 people.

In Coventry, the unemployment figure rose from 3,909 to 4,102 in January, while in Warwickshire, the number increased from 2,389 to 2,586.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We’ve seen a long-term trend of falling unemployment in this area, so we hope this rise is only a blip.

“The increase underlines why everything must be done to support business growth at a time where there is economic uncertainty around the world.

“We’ll continue to keep a very close eye on the regional picture in the months to come and through the Chamber’s Go For Growth campaign launched recently we are doing everything we can to help showcase successful and expanding companies in our area but also highlight the barriers to growth.

“The campaign is building real momentum and companies are positive for their prospects for 2016 and hopefully that will reflect in the employment figures as the year progresses.”

Kath Wilcox, Job Centre leader in Warwickshire, said the national picture is good, adding: “The latest labour market figures continue to show good news, with the employment rate rising to a new record high – 74.1 per cent, and over a half a million more people in work than this time last year.

“The proportion of young people who are in work or full-time education is the highest it’s ever been, at 86 per cent. The claimant count has fallen to its lowest level since 1975, and we also have good news for our towns, as there are fewer claimants than a year ago.”