Unemployment falls across the region

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THE number of people claiming out of work benefits fell across the region for a second month.

Figures from the office of National Statistics show fewer people claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance in April compared to March.

The biggest fall was in Portsmouth, with 156 fewer people claiming the benefit - from 5,504 in March to 5,348 in April.

Chichester recorded the second biggest fall, from 1,482 in March to 1,370 in April, a reduction of 112.

Gosport and Havant also fared well.

Gosport’s figures fell by 100, from 1,774 to 1,674. Havant’s fell by 99, from 2,768 to 2,669.

Fareham had 83 fewer people claiming the benefit, from 1,395 to 1,312.

And for the east Hampshire area, the figures fell by 69, from 1,140 in March to 1,071.

The national unemployment levels in the quarter to March was 2.6 million, the lowest since last summer, while the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance nationally last month was down by 13,700 to 1.59 million.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: ‘These figures are a welcome step in the right direction.

‘For a number of months now, employment has been growing and this is starting to feed through into improving unemployment figures.

‘However, we still face significant international uncertainty so we need to hold firm on our current economic strategy and continue to do everything we can to ensure unemployment continues to fall.’