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Small dip in number of people in full or part-time work in Derbyshire

The employment rate in Derbyshire has fallen over the past year, despite rising to record highs in the UK.

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the number of people in either part-time or full-time employment in Derbyshire fell to 78.9 per cent between April 2017 and March 2018.

The unemployment rate is at a record low in the North East.

The unemployment rate is at a record low in the North East.

This was a decrease of 0.5 percentage points from the previous year, when the rate was at 79.4 per cent.

It comes as the Government hails record high employment for the UK in the latest quarterly national figures, which cover the period from March to May.

These show employment across the country rising to 75.7 per cent, up by 0.8 percentage points from the same quarter a year ago.

Though local employment figures are released simultaneously with the national statistics, they only cover the 12 months to March.

In that 12 month period, national employment was 74.8 per cent, putting Derbyshire 4.1 percentage points above the national average.

The working-age population is grouped into three categories by the ONS – employed, unemployed or economically inactive.

This third category includes people who are not looking for a job, such as students or people with an illness or disability.

Of the approximately 487,000-strong working age population - those aged between 16 and 64 - in Derbyshire in 2017-18, 394,000 were employed.

Despite a fall in the employment rate in Derbyshire, unemployment also fell, from 3.5 per cent in 2016-17 to 3.4 per cent in 2017-18.

The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits such as Job Seeker’s Allowance, which can include employed people if they are on a low income, was up.

In 2017-18, the proportion of claimants was 1.4 per cent, compared to 1.3 per cent in 2016-17.

Almost every region in the UK saw an increase in the number of claimants, despite high overall employment.

And when it came to economically inactive people, these made up 18.6 per cent of Derbyshire’s population in 2017-18, unchanged from 18.6 per cent the previous year.

The East Midlands as a whole was the only region not to see its employment rate go up between 2016-17 and 2017-18, remaining steady at 74.7 per cent.

Esther McVey MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “The employment rate is now at a record high of 75.7 per cent.

“With over 3.3 million more people in work since 2010, this Government has seen on average 1,000 more people in work each and every day.

“Making sure our jobs market works for everyone is at the heart of this department’s work and the modern industrial strategy, and with more than 800,000 job vacancies we have a buoyant jobs market with plenty of opportunities available.”