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THERE has been a slight decrease in the number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance locally, for the second month running.

In Portsmouth, figures released by the Office of National Statistics reveal that the total claimants fell between the beginning of May to the beginning of June by 195 to 4,605.

In Fareham, the figure fell by 42 to 1,116.

In Gosport, the number of claimants also fell to 1,423 – though by just 17 people.

In Havant, the numbers fell by 28 people to 2,207.

Overall, in east Hampshire, the numbers of claimants fell from 967 to 941.

In the county, the number of claimants fell from 16,075 to 15,496, a reduction of 579 claimants in total.

The figures have revealed that, nationally, employment levels have risen, but the numbers claiming the Jobseekers’ Allowance benefit have also risen.

The anomaly has come as those claiming long-term benefits such as Disability Allowance, are moved onto Jobseekers’ Allowance to encourage them to get back into employment.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said: ‘There continue to be some encouraging signs in the labour market figures, particularly with the continued rise in private sector employment.

‘It’s really important that we continue to support the economy and encourage businesses to invest and create jobs.’

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