Stoke Staffs LEP

Economic Bulletin

A regular Economic Bulletin for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent providing current data on what is happening with the local economy is available here. This includes an outline of local business support initiatives.


Key messages – November 2023

  • In Staffordshire having seen improvement in the local economy and labour market following the COVID pandemic, we have seen unemployment, youth unemployment and dependency on work-related benefits increase during the energy and cost-of-living crisis. This month we have seen a further increase in the Claimant Count. Whilst there has been no change in job vacancies this month, there is still a high number of job vacancies available for those that unfortunately find themselves out of work.


  • Positively, we are starting to see signs of improvement in business conditions with fewer businesses identifying business issues and confidence rising.


  • Looking at the local data in more detail, following long-term declines in the claimant count approaching pre-pandemic levels, the number of work-related benefit claimants in Staffordshire increased by 335 this month to a total of 14,955 claimants. This was a higher proportional increase this month of 2.3% than seen nationally (1.3%) or regionally (0.7%).


  • The claimant rate for Staffordshire increased from 2.7% to 2.8% of the working age population. Positively though, Staffordshire remains one of the lowest rates in the West Midlands, far lower than the average for the region of 4.8% and lower than the average for England at 3.8%.


  • In terms of job vacancies, Staffordshire saw no change in the number of available job vacancies between September and October to a total of 15,700 which continues to remain higher than the number of work-related benefit claimants. Stoke-on-Trent saw a 7% decrease in vacancies to a total of 6,400 however which is lower than the number of claimants this month. Across the region in the last month there was no change, and nationally there was a 1% decrease in job vacancies.


  • This recent declining trend indicates a slowing down in the jobs market as a result of some business sectors being more cautious about recruitment due to the uncertainty in the economy. Overall, though the outlook is positive and recruitment demand remains strong with new job postings higher than pre-pandemic levels with Staffordshire job vacancies 32% higher than pre-pandemic levels and Stoke-on-Trent 17% higher.


  • Considering the top 20 job vacancy occupations in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, demand for roles in social care continue to remain high with ‘Care Workers and Home Carers’ being the highest in demand occupations. The following occupations ‘Sales Related,’ ‘Cleaners & Domestics,’ and ‘Warehouse Operatives’ occupations also have strong demand.