FEWER people in Portsmouth are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) as unemployment across the UK reaches a six-year low.
Statistics released today by the Office of National Statistics reveal that 2,965 people received out-of-work benefits dropped by in 2.1 per cent in July, down from 3,060 in June.
In Gosport, however, the number of JSA recipients remained virtually the same, falling from 782 in June to 780 in July.
In Havant, the figure fell from 1,454 to 1, 414, while in Fareham, the figure actually rose slightly from 554 to 567.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, said the figures were proof the government’s economic policy was taking effect.
He said: ‘The Government’s long-term economic plan to build a stronger economy and a fairer society is working – the South East has the highest employment rate in the UK at 76.7 per cent and 115,000 more people in work compared to this time last year.’
But Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said the good news was offset by a rise in the number of self-employed.
He said: ‘Any fall in unemployment is welcome, but the rise of the number self-employed is a worrying trend.
‘They are likely to earn less than those in full time jobs as well as being less secure.’