NEW figures have revealed that unemployment across the Portsmouth area is continuing to fall.
The Office for National Statistics yesterday revealed that while the number of residents in Havant receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance increased this month, the number stayed the same in Portsmouth, with the figure decreasing in Gosport and Fareham.
It came as unemployment nationally dropped to its lowest total for more than a decade.
The statistics also revealed that the number of people in work fell by 9,000 to 31.8 million – which is the lowest since last autumn.
Leone Hill, business development manager at Portsmouth’s Jobcentre Plus, said: ‘We’ve seen some good results here, particularly in Fareham and Gosport.
‘The economic climate is quite strong at the moment and there are lots of job opportunities out there for people.
‘Overall, it’s quite good for the area as it shows evidence of a downward trend in unemployment.’
The number of residents in Havant receiving JSA increased from 1,010 to 1,040, although this was down from 1,120 last year.
In Portsmouth, the number stayed the same as last month at 2,015 – a rise of 30 from this time last year.
However, Fareham saw a drop of 20 people receiving benefits, down to 390 from 410 last month and the figure for Gosport also dropped to 530 – a drop of 35 from last month.
East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds, minister for employment, said: ‘We start the new year with another encouraging set of figures.
‘Employment continues to run at a near-record high, unemployment remains at an 11-year low and both figures are stronger than last year.’
Fareham MP Suella Fernandes said: ‘These figures are excellent news for people in Fareham, which has one of the lowest levels of unemployment in the country.
‘The record number of people in jobs is a tribute to the excellent businesses in Fareham who create jobs and boost the local economy.
‘I’m hosting a jobs and apprenticeships fair later this month and would urge people to come and speak to employers. Go to farehamapprenticeships.co.uk.’