Credit: East Midlands Chamber

The unemployment rate in the East Midlands has reached its lowest figure since records began, sitting at 3.5%.

This is below the national average of 4.1% over the period between September and November 2021, the lowest figure since the beginning of the pandemic.

East Midlands Chamber Chief Executive Scott Knowles said: ““This is fantastic news for the region’s labour market and sends a clear signal that the East Midlands is open for business.

“We are represented by a very diverse economy in the East Midlands but there have been some standout sectors to celebrate in recent times, such as the logistics industry that has been a major driver of job creation during the pandemic, which has accelerated pre-existing online shopping trends.”

Stats support a wider trend which showed overall numbers of unemployment fell from 81,000 men and 74,000 women to 47,000 and 37,000 respectively (from November 2020 to October 2021).

Recent rises in inflation pose a threat to the longevity of this trend, with the end of 2021 inflation rose to 5.4%, the highest since March 1992.

Knowles added: “It feels like we are dangerously close to a very real cost of doing business crisis.

“Spiralling energy costs are a particular worry for businesses.

“In the East Midlands, we have a high proportion of energy-intensive firms in industries such as manufacturing and engineering, so every price hike squeezes their margins.

The chamber warned that any rise in the cost of doing business would ultimately hit consumers and everyday people the hardest- whether that meant increase in the cost of goods or businesses unable to afford staffing costs in the long term.