National unemployment figures announced today mask the gloomy picture in the West Midlands, which has fast become a jobless hot spot, say UNSON.
The Office for National Statistics figures show a 5,000 drop in UK unemployment, to 2.5m people (7.8%).
But the West Midlands jobless figure now stands at 9.4% second only to the North East in the regional league table for unemployment.
“Whilst any drop in unemployment is welcome, the picture is dismal for those looking for work in the West Midlands,” said UNISON regional secretary Ravi Subramanian.
“Today there are an extra 19,000 people looking for work here, contributing to the overall regional figure of 259,000. That is a lot of misery.”
The underlying figures revealed just how badly the UK was faring, Mr Subramanian said. Far too many people were being put out of work, with women particularly affected and public sector jobs continuing to be slashed.
“Local government has been one of the areas hardest hit by the government’s austerity agenda. And while all these job losses are personal tragedies, they also mean that people who rely on services will find them getting scarcer and scarcer. The impact of job loss on our local economy is dire.
“And none of this bodes well for the national economy. There are still almost a million young people out of work and many more will be leaving schools, colleges and universities in the next month looking for their first job.
“What sort of future can they look forward to? The Government must change tack and offer them real hope and real jobs.”