Future ‘bright’ despite rise in unemployment

By Ian Dipple Friday 28 February 2014 Updated: 28/02 09:22

UNEMPLOYMENT in Redditch climbed last month despite growing optimism about the economy amongst borough businesses.

Another 165 people were claiming jobseekers’ allowance in January compared to the previous month rising to 1,546. There was also a slight rise in youth unemployment with 385, 18 to 24-year-olds now claiming the benefit.

But the number of people out of work is still down by a fifth on January 2013 and almost 30 per cent on 2012.

Businesses across the borough are also reporting renewed confidence particularly following figures showing nationally the UK economy grew by 0.7 per cent in the final three months of last year.

Among them is Righttrack Consultancy based in Brockhill Court which saw a 49 per cent increase in UK orders for bespoke training projects which resulted in the creation of two new jobs with another three in the pipeline in 2014.

Gary Woodman, executive director at Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said while the future looked bright with a number of sectors announcing new job creation there were still challenges including skills shortages in engineering, IT and high tech industries.

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