Claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance down by 1,200 in Portsmouth since last October

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THE number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Portsmouth has fallen by more than 1,000 over the last year.

Numbers released by the Office for National Statistics show 2,815 people in the city claimed the benefit in October, compared with 4,077 a year ago.

According to the data, the number of people claiming the benefit has gone up by two in the last month.

Elsewhere in the south east Hampshire area, claimant numbers have dropped by around 600 in Havant over the past year. The number of claimants went up by 10 between September and October.

In Fareham, the figures show a drop of 318 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance over the last 12 months, with 18 fewer people signing on in the last month.

And in Gosport, 449 fewer people claimed in October this year compared with last year. The figure now stands at 751 people for October - 16 fewer than September.

Helen Edmunds, senior partnership manager for the Solent for Jobcentre Plus, said: ‘What you can see is it is now about 1,200 fewer people in the greater Portsmouth are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. That kind of carries on through all our groups. We have got 585 young people currently. We had 960 this time last year. I think it is down to an increased intensiveness in the work we are doing with our customers. In Portsmouth, we have completed the rollout of our digital job centres so we have a lot more computer access for our customers.

‘To support that, we have got some intensive sessions with long-term customers which helps them to use computers.

‘Work experience has also turned out to be a really good way of getting people who have been out of work for a long time into work. At the end of those eight weeks the employer can decide whether they want to take them on or not.’