EMPLOYMENT rates have remained at their highest level for a decade.
The latest Labour Market Statistics were released by the Office for National Statistics yesterday.
Leone Hill, account manager at Portsmouth’s JobCentre said: ‘I’m really pleased that the figures continue the downward trend. The proportion of young people who are unemployed and claiming benefit continues to fall.
‘Jobcentre Plus continues to work with employers, large and small, to help fill vacancies. This month we worked with TKMaxx which is opening a store in Portsmouth as well as other companies recruiting in retail, social care and hospitality.
‘Havant has also seen new openings – M&S, Mothercare and a relocated Next.’
In Portsmouth, the number of people claiming JobSeeker’s Allowance last month fell to 1,895 – down 50 on last month and 16 per cent lower than this time last year.
In Gosport, the number fell to 535 – down 30 on last month and 26 per cent lower than this time last year
In Havant, the number was 995 – a slight increase on last month’s 990 but 10 per cent lower than this time last year.
In Fareham the numbers stayed the same, with 420 people claiming.
Fareham MP Suella Fernandes said: ‘There are now hundreds more jobs locally than there were in 2010 when we entered government, and to see that trend continue is hugely encouraging.’
Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond said: ‘Just this week I was at the opening of a new microbrewery, Southsea Brewery Company, and visiting Hotwalls Studio which shows the confidence that businesses are having in the city.
‘I’m not surprised the long-term trend continues but we must make sure no-one is left behind; there are still 1,000 people we must find jobs for.’
Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said: ‘In the north of the city the claimant count is now down by over 70 per cent since April 2010 – that is a remarkable achievement by the businesses of our city.
‘The national picture is encouraging. The employment rate of 74.4 per cent is the highest since records began, and unemployment of 4.9 per cent is lower than pre-recession levels. These figures in stark terms make happy reading, but we should never lose sight of what they mean.
‘Each single fall in the claimant count represents the achievement of an individual having taken a step, often a challenging step, to change their life for the better.’