Employment rate at highest for a decade

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UNEMPLOYMENT rates have fallen across the UK – the lowest in over a decade – according to new figures.

The latest Labour Market Statistics were released by the Office for National Statistics yesterday.

They showed that the unemployment rate now stands at five per cent and there are nearly 31.6m people in work.

In Portsmouth the number of people claiming JobSeeker’s Allowance fell from 2,060 last month, to 1,945 – a drop of 455 from last year.

In Gosport, this number fell to 535 from 565 last month, in Havant it fell to 990 from 1,070 last month and in Fareham the figure dropped to 420 from 455.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Stephen Crabb, said: ‘Secure employment and a decent wage are key to transforming the life chances of people right 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 4.5m people in work.’

Leone Hill, employer account manager at Jobcentre Plus in Portsmouth, said: she was ‘delighted’ that the figures continue a downward trend.

She said: ‘The proportion of young people on our caseloads has also fallen.

‘We have seen a number of new employers opening in the area – such as Selco in Cosham.

‘Selco worked closely with us and employed a number of our customers, including some who had been unemployed for some time. They were keen to see people’s potential and offer opportunities to some people who have found it difficult to get back to work.

‘Last month we worked with HMRC to recruit a number of customer advisers. This month we are excited to be working with BAE Systems and the Prince’s Trust for the second year running.’

She said they would also be working with staff from closing store BHS.

Ms Hill said there will be a careers event on Thursday, June 30 at Cascades Shopping Centre, in Portsmouth. The ‘Big Caring Careers’ event has been organised by Portsmouth City Council to give people a way find out about jobs in the care sector. It runs from 10am until 2pm.