New figures show that fewer people are on benefits

The number of people claiming jobseekers' allowance has dropped across most areas
The number of people claiming jobseekers' allowance has dropped across most areas
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THE number of people claiming jobseekers’ allowance has dropped across most areas.

In October in Portsmouth, 2,815 people claimed the out-of-work benefit in the city, compared with 2,719 in November – a drop of 96.

In Havant, 1,352 people claimed the allowance in October, falling to 1,298 the following month, 54 fewer.

Fareham saw a fall of 25 from 520 to 495.

Gosport saw two more people sign on, meaning 753 people in November were in receipt of the benefit.

Mark Hoban, MP for Fareham, said: ‘These numbers are good news.

‘They demonstrate we have got a strong local jobs market and there are opportunities for people to find work.

‘Even more jobs for people means more security as people will know they have money coming in.

‘What we need to do is for the economy to continue to grow and more businesses will create jobs so that even more people will have the chance to work and enjoy that same security that employment brings.’

Many of the jobs being created in this are have been in the private sector.

Kevin Briscoe, chairman of Hampshire Chamber of Commerce for the Portsmouth area, and owner of Briscoe French public relations in Fareham, said: ‘It is very encouraging to see the number of jobseekers continuing to go down.

‘They may only be relatively small numbers but in percentage terms, they are significant.’

He added: ‘In the end it all helps to increase confidence in the Portsmouth area’s economy.

‘If businesses can see that more people are being employed and that business is performing, it means the economy’s growth may gain some confidence.’

Nationally, full-time jobs accounted for 95 per cent of the rise in employment over the past year, with private sector employment rising by 637,000.

Private sector regular pay rose by two per cent, compared with inflation of 1.3 per cent, with strong wage growth in the manufacturing and business services industries according to the Office of National Statistics.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said: ‘What we can see at the end of 2014, is that our welfare reforms are ensuring that people have the skills and opportunities to move into work.’