Drop in unemployment is an ‘encouraging’ sign

Millie Mackintosh

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  • Unemployment in Portsmouth and the surrounding area falls again
  • Across the area 332 fewer people are claiming jobseekers allowance
  • Lynne Grimes from Jobcentre Plus said the figures were encouraging
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UNEMPLOYMENT has continued to decline with nearly 200 fewer Portsmouth residents claiming jobseeker’s allowance.

The latest figures, released yesterday, show that the city saw the biggest difference in April compared with March in this area.

When you compare the figures to last month, it is brilliant

Lynne Grimes

The numbers fell from 2,720 in March to 2,535 last month – a drop of 185.

This was significantly higher than Havant, which saw a decrease of 78 from 1,272 to 1,194 and Gosport which saw 32 people find jobs.

The figures show unemployment fell from 800 in March to 768 in April.

Fareham followed the trend with a drop from 497 to 486.

Lynne Grimes, health and disability customer service operation manager at Jobcentre Plus in Portsmouth, said it was brilliant to see the number continue to fall.

‘When you compare the figures to last month, it’s brilliant,’ she said.

‘If you compare year-on-year, it’s even better with 944 people in Portsmouth no longer claiming jobseeker’s allowance.

‘That is a significant drop and is an encouraging sign for the future.’

Mrs Grimes added that the drop in 18 to 24-year-olds claiming jobseeker’s allowance in the past 12 months is a good sign.

Compared with April last year, 255 people aged 18 to 24 in Portsmouth have found employment falling from 755 to 500.

Havant had the second highest drop over the year, from 490 to 315, followed by Gosport with a decline 75 and Fareham with a fall of 60.

Ms Grimes said: ‘It’s important that young people are finding work because it the sooner they find a job, the better work ethic they have.

‘So I’m pleased with the figures for Portsmouth showing a huge 255 young people have found work.’

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell to 5.5 per cent in the January to March period, the lowest rate since the middle of 2008.

The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance, the old claimant count, fell by 12,600 in April to 764,000.