PRESS RELEASE: Gloucester MP says city’s latest low unemployment figures highlight business resilience

City MP Richard Graham said today’s unemployment figures which show a 60% drop in Gloucester and over 70% drop for youth unemployment in the city since their peaks show that Gloucester businesses are continuing to recruit, and are backed by the latest ICAEW measure of business confidence which has turned positive for the first quarter in a year.

“Business confidence is incredibly important because it tries to capture whether business is likely to go on investing, and growing and taking on more staff. Across our city at the moment there are different building sites and applications pending planning approval, which is another good indicator of business activity and investment. As we enter difficult negotiations with the EU our business resilience and confidence in a sensible outcome is vital to a successful economy. Government investment in our infrastructure and support for our regeneration is equally important to Gloucester – and I am already having informal discussions with Ministers on aspects of that”.

Richard also highlighted the importance of the Apprenticeship Levy for this year’s school leavers and older employees looking to up skill or change career: “The new levy means more money coming to fund apprentices’ training and will make good economic sense for all organisations, and I know that eg the county council, the Hospitals Trust and private businesses alike will be hiring many more apprentices. The government has also helped businesses by abolishing employers’ National Insurance contributions for under 25 year old apprentices.”