Unemployment has been dropping in the Ludlow area for a while, but today there is bad news from the Eco Park. Capita Medical Reporting has told its staff that the company is making a round of redundancies. Up to 30 jobs are to go. This is a blow to the town and surrounding area, and of course for those losing their jobs.
I hope that the people being made redundant are able to find jobs quickly. As I know from being unemployed myself a few years back, it can be hard to get a new job in rural areas, especially in middle age.
Before the news of the Capita redundancies, unemployment in the Ludlow constituency had been dropping. The number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance has fallen by nearly two-thirds since the peak of the recession in February 2013. Even youth unemployment, which at one point looked like remaining stubbornly around 120-130, has dropped to 105 claimants.
Youth unemployment in the Ludlow constituency is now 1.9%, better than the national average which is 2.9% or the West Midlands which is 3.6%. Overall unemployment in the constituency is 1.1% (2.7% UK; 3.2% West Midlands). These numbers are for Jobseekers claimants and they are generally considered to be around half the real unemployment level (see Note 2 on an earlier article for details). In Shrewsbury and Atcham, the Jobseekers rate is 2.0% and youth unemployment 2.1%. For North Shropshire the statistics are 3.0% and 1.8%.
As I have said before, the biggest challenge facing Ludlow and the surrounding area is to grow high quality, better paid jobs.
Update 28 May 2015
In the article above, I have may have underestimated the true level of youth unemployment.
A paper from the House of Commons Library published a couple of weeks ago gives a national unemployment rate for young people (18-24) of 14.3% for the first quarter of 2015. This is estimated using the International Labour Organisation method, which typically gives a level of unemployment double that of Jobseekers claimants.
Looking at data in the paper, it looks like the Jobseeker figure for youth unemployment has to be multiplied by a factor of 3.5 to get an estimate of the ILO unemployment rate locally. That means that we have around 350 people aged 18-24 across the Ludlow constituency that are unemployed.
I’ll look at this in more detail when I get time.
. The ILO data is only available at national and regional level.