JAN 99] THE CHAMBER PRESS RELEASE
Trade Still Robust Says Chamber
The pulse of the economy in Coventry and Warwickshire is still
"healthy, if not robust", according to analysts at The Chamber in the light of
virtually unchanged unemployment figures.
"The number of jobless actually edged up by 120, but
this was after decreases the previous two months against national figures which had
started to move upwards,"
said a spokesman for The Chamber.
"The December total for Coventry and Warwickshire of
14,056 was next to the lowest this decade, and only a third of the peak figure in January,
"Nevertheless manufacturing is struggling to maintain
orders and profits, and therefore jobs.
"Despite cuts by the Bank of England, our interest
rate is still double that of Europe, which does not provide a level playing field for
"The balance of probability is for a static first
quarter this year, with a pick-up in the spring, particularly if interest rates are cut
Proportionally, North Warwickshire and Warwick took the
brunt of the 120 who lost their jobs, with increase of 39 (5.5 per cent) and 52 (3.2 per
Vacancies fell by 26 per cent. But analysts at the Chamber
of Commerce, Training and Enterprise say a rapid climb down was not unexpected, given
unprecedented increases in the previous months.
Nuneaton and Bedworth saw a 54 per cent decrease in new
vacancies (down from 558 to 255), and Rugby a decline of 35 per cent (down from 422 to
Overall the number of new vacancies in Coventry and
Warwickshire was down by 1,000, at 2,817, on the previous month.
"The number is still equal to the average for the
whole of 1998,"
The Chamber spokesman pointed out.
Warwickshire's unemployment rate is still under three per
cent, with Coventry at 5.3 per cent.
This makes an average for city and county of 3.4 per cent,
compared with the UK figure of 4.6 per cent and the West Midlands average of 4.7 per cent.
District Figures :
Coventry - Jobless up 75 to 7,700. New vacancies: down 328
Rugby - Jobless down 14 to 1,063. New vacancies: down 147
North Warwickshire - Jobless up 39 to 753. New vacancies:
down 26 at 59.
Nuneaton and Bedworth - Jobless down 29 to 1,952. New
vacancies: down 303 at 255.
Stratford-upon-Avon - Jobless down three to 1,019. New
vacancies: down 64 at 195.
Warwick - Jobless up 52 to 1,689. New vacancies: down 129
The Chamber only reports on new openings sent to Job
Centres during the month, reckoned to be a third of the total, and does not include long
MORE INFORMATION: Barry Lloyd-Jones