There are fewer people on jobseekers’ allowance in 1066 country than 12 months ago and the south east has the highest employment rate in the UK, according to figures released today (Wednesday, June 15).
The Office of National Statistics’ figures show there were 215 fewer claimants of the benefit in Hastings than this time last year and 58 fewer in Rother, drops of 14 and nine per cent respectively.
Across the south east, 4.5m people are in work, an increase of 67,000 from a year ago, and unemployment is down by 10,000 from last year to just over one million.
Jobcentre Plus manager Bruce Campbell said: “The figures from Hastings and Rother are line with the rest of the south east figures again which is a significant drop overall.
“The south east continues to have a high employment rate but particularly to note with Hastings, is that youth unemployment has fallen by 31 per cent over the last year so we’re seeing success in equipping young people for work.
“I think it’s reflective of the labour market in the local area in terms of the number of jobs at this time of year and our work with job seekers and employers, particularly for young people, where we are seeing real success.”
Unemployment has dropped to its lowest rate since 2005 at five per cent while the employment rate has stayed at a record high of 74.2 per cent across the UK.
There are nearly half-a-million more people in work compared to a year ago, with wages before bonuses up by 2.3 per cent in the same period.
Work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb, said: “Secure employment and a decent wage are key to transforming the life chances of people right the way across the country, so I’m delighted to see another strong set of figures this month.
“There are more people in work than ever before and wages are continuing their upward climb.
“There’s good news in the south east with the highest employment rate of any UK region, and over 4.5 million people in work.
“Our economic plan is delivering jobs and security right across the UK.”
However, critics say the figures do not take into account those who are in employment but are on zero hours contracts.
Data from the Office for National Statistics also suggested the national rise was partly due to women working longer because of the rise in pension age.
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