Unemployment in the West Midlands increased by 13,000 between July and September, new figures have revealed.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that a total of 233,000 people were unemployed in the region during the period.
This was a 5.9% increase from the previous quarter, with the region’s unemployment rate reaching 8.7%, figures showed.
Across the country unemployment fell by 9,000, but the number of people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job reached a record high.
Around 1.15 million people had part-time jobs or were self employed after failing to find a full-time position, an increase of 67,000 over the quarter to September and the highest total since records began in 1992. Part-timers increased by 94,000 to 18.17 million, while self-employment rose by 112,000 to a record high of 4.03 million.
Unemployment fell to 2.45 million, although the number of people out of work for longer than a year jumped by 20,000 to 817,000 and there was a similar rise in those out of a job for over six months. The numbers claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 3,700 last month to 1.47 million, the first monthly fall since July.
The Office for National Statistics said it was the first time the so-called claimant count and the wider measure of unemployment had fallen together since the summer.
There was also a fall in the number of people classed as economically inactive, including those looking after a sick relative or having given up looking for work. The figure was 83,000 down over the latest quarter to 9.27 million.
There was a 167,000 rise in employment to 29.19 million, including a 94,000 rise in part-timers. The number of full-time workers fell by 62,000 to reach 18.17 million, while part-time employment was almost eight million, up by 142,000 from the quarter to June. Of this total, two million were men and almost six million were women.
Public sector employment, which is set to be hit by the Government’s spending cuts, was down by 22,000 to 6.05 million, while employment in private firms increased by 308,000 to 23.11 million.
Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “Unemployment is down and employment is up, which is good news. The private sector is leading the way and creating jobs and opportunities for people across the country. Today’s figures show that businesses are responding well and we will continue to help them expand and develop, as the economy grows.”