Jobless numbers fall as economy continues growing

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UNEMPLOYMENT numbers have fallen across the area.

The Office for National Statistics revealed yesterday that people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in the The News’ region has dropped by 341.

These mirror the national statistics which showed unemployment fell by 36,700 last month – the 13th consecutive fall.

Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant, Fareham, Chichester and East Hampshire all saw decreases in numbers, unlike last month, in which two areas recorded increases.

Gosport had the highest fall from 1,200 in October to 1,112 last month.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘Yet again, Gosport has received good news.

‘There is still more to be done, both in Gosport and across the country.

‘However, these figures show that this government’s policies are securing a better economic future for Britain.’

Next was Portsmouth which saw a decrease of 83 from 4,077 to 3,994.

David Philpott is one of the 83 who are no longer unemployed as he opened his own shop last month.

He had claimed incapacity benefit for 16 years.

But after a visit to the Jobcentre Plus, David revealed his hobby of a reptiles and started getting help to turn his passion into a job.

He started looking at self-employment options and with help from the New Enterprise Allowance scheme.

He and his wife Angela opened Slip, Slither and Slide in Copnor Road – a shop selling exotic pets and guides to look after them.

David said: ‘I had always dreamt of opening my own exotic pet and reptile business but just didn’t know where to start.

‘The support my wife and I have had from the jobcentre and the mentor has been great.’

Havant, which saw an increase in October, but a decrease in claimants last month of 71, from 1,943 to 1,872.

Fareham showed a decrease of 57 from 838 to 781.

East Hampshire went from 832 to 806, down by 26, and Chichester went from 1,010 to 994 – a decrease of 16.

Minister for Employment, Esther McVey, said: ‘It’s really encouraging news that the number of people in jobs has increased by a quarter of a million in the last three months.

‘This is a great sign that the economy is growing.’