Youth unemployment in Portsmouth area drops by two-thirds in five years

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THE number of young people seeking jobseeker’s allowance in the Portsmouth area has dropped by more than two thirds in the past five years.

There are currently 895 people aged 18-24 signed up to job centres, compared with 2,900 in 2012.

A Job Centre spokeswoman said the figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, were ‘very positive for the local area’.

The data shows there are 2,190 people currently registered unemployed in Portsmouth, and 1,135 in Havant.

A total of 650 people are signed on in Gosport, with 445 in Fareham.

Vicki Harrison, a job centre customer service lead, said: ‘It’s all really positive at the moment.

‘We have been running Christmas jobs fairs at the Cascades Shopping Centre and we are holding another one in the city next month.

‘There are lots and lots of things we are working on.’

Staff are helping to fill 300 new jobs at the new Brockhurst Gate retail park on the A32 between Gosport and Fareham.

The development will include Lidl, Costa, Marks & Spencer, Home Bargains and McDonald’s.

Job centre staff have also been inviting major brands including KFC to give advice to jobseekers on what to expect when they are submitting applications.

In Portsmouth there are 355 people aged 18 to 24 registered unemployed, down from 910 five years ago.

The figure in Fareham has gone down from 260 to 100, 360 to 180 in Gosport and 475 to 260 in Havant.

Nationally, the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.3 per cent, the lowest since 1975.

A total of 32.10 million people are in work, 317,000 more than last year.

East Hampshire MP and minister for employment 
Damian Hinds said the government was making ‘great progress’ in getting more people into work.

He said: ‘Our economy is helping to create full-time, permanent jobs which are giving people across the UK the chance of securing a reliable income.

‘We’ve boosted the income for people on the lowest pay by increasing the National Living Wage and delivered the fastest pay rise for the lowest earners in 20 years.

‘That’s great progress and we’re determined to help more people flourish in the world of work.

‘For example we’ve launched our new returnship programme to help more women get into good jobs after taking time out, and to keep their career progressing.’

Across the country there are 3.87 million people aged 16 to 24 in work – including 851,000 full-time students with a part-time job.

A total of 524,000 are registered unemployed, including 180,000 students looking for part-time work.

Youth employment has fallen by more than 40 per cent since 2010.