Employment continues to rise

Date published: 13 September 2017

Official employment figures show that the employment rate has continued to rise.

There are now a record number of people in work, the highest level since records began in 1971.

The figures, released by the Office of National Statistics, also show that unemployment is at 4.3%, the lowest since 1975.

The increase is due to people of all ages finding work, with employment levels of those over 50 in work reaching a record high, youth unemployment falling by over 40% since 2010 and the proportion of young people who are unemployed and not in full time education dropping below 5% for the first time.

In the last year, there has been a shift from part-time to full-time employment, 20,000 fewer people relying on zero-hour contracts and full-time and permanent employment are both at a record high.

Separate figures show 1.4 million claims have been made to Universal Credit. Of the 590,000 people now on Universal Credit, 39% are in work.

In the Rochdale Borough, there are currently 4,055 claimants; 855 of these are aged between 18 and 24.

Overall, the claimant count has reduced by 47% over the last five years, with a 64% reduction in the 18-24 age group. There are 110 less 18-24-year-olds claiming than last year, an 11% reduction. However, there are more people over this age claiming as there are an extra 150 people in total claiming this year, a 4% increase.


In Middleton, sector-based work academies are being delivered by Mantra/Stagecoach for PCV Drivers every month. There are also hundreds of jobs in warehouse and contact centre vacancies with Fanatics.

Middleton has a range of voluntary work experience placements in a variety of sectors including retail, warehouse, admin, hospitality and catering, customer service.

There is an ongoing demand for warehouse operatives in the Middleton area, with various agencies recruiting and conducting interviews at the Jobcentre every week. Growth sectors include care and support workers.

There are approximately 200 plus apprenticeships and variety of traineeships available. Apprenticeships are available in retail, contact centre, business admin, plastering, plumbing, joinery, catering and hospitality.

Traineeship opportunities are also available in care, contact centre, retail, and digital.

The local shopping centre is now conducting recruitment for Iceland, Poundstretchers, Argos, Wilko and Costa Coffee.


In Rochdale, a variety of sector-based work academy opportunities are available including customer services, warehouse, contact centres, bus driver, healthcare, security, hospitality, support worker, smart meter installer.

Voluntary work experience opportunities are available in retail, warehouse, admin, hospitality and catering, motor industry, customer service, video and social media.
There is still a high demand for warehouse operatives and domiciliary care workers.

There is an apprenticeship event on Wednesday 20 September organised by Rochdale Borough Council at the Riverside Building in Rochdale.

The Jobcentre is currently running apprenticeship group information sessions every two weeks with eight local training providers and have also been working with a large national coffee outlet to help fill vacancies at their new store on Kingsway Retail Park in Rochdale.

Additionally, Rochdale is amongst ten communities selected nationally by Marks and Spencer to pilot their Community Transformation Programme. The pioneering programme will see M&S work with local councils and charity partners to support communities to deliver positive measurable change.

The programme will be piloted in ten communities over the next two years, when the retailer will trial a range of actions designed to tackle the issues that matter most to communities – such as unemployment, skill shortages, loneliness, poverty, and mental health and wellbeing.

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