Unemployment benefit claims fall in Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH has seen a large drop in the number of people claiming out-of-work benefit, new figures have shown.

According to the Office of National Statistics, 129 fewer people claimed Jobseekers’ Allowance in September than in August - from 5,119 to 4,983.

It is not clear why there has been such a large fall - though apprenticeship training schemes began last month.

Havant’s figures also fell by 39, from 2,407 to 2,368, possibly due to call centre jobs being created at SSE.

Fareham also saw a very slight fall in benefit claimants, from 1,214 to 1,209.

The claimant numbers elsewhere in the region, however, rose between August and September.

In east Hampshire 25 more people are claiming the benefit, from 938 to 963.

In the Chichester local authority area there has been an increase of 13, from 1,315 to 1,328.

And in Gosport seven more people are claiming the benefit, from 1,585 to 1,592.

Nationally, unemployment has fallen to 2.53m, with 1.57m claiming Jobseekers Allowance. That’s the lowest since spring 2011.

Employment minister and Fareham MP Mark Hoban said: ‘It’s a real landmark to see more people in work than ever before. Despite the tough economic times, the private sector continues to create jobs and our welfare reforms are encouraging people to return to work.’