Unemployment continues to fall in Portsmouth area

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UNEMPLOYMENT in the Portsmouth area continues to fall reaching its lowest figure for five years, according to the latest numbers.

The statistics from March reveal Havant had the biggest drop of 81 with 1,272 compared to 1,353 in February.

Portsmouth saw another fall with 2,720 people in the city claiming jobseeker’s allowance, a decrease of 54 people.

The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, show Fareham also saw a drop from 535 to 497 with Gosport seeing the lowest fall of just eight. In February 808 people claimed jobseeker’s allowance compared to 800 in March.

Nationally, the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance fell by 20,700 in March to 772,400, the 29th consecutive monthly cut.

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: ‘The latest figures continue to highlight the dynamism and resilience of the UK labour market.

‘Rising employment levels and falling unemployment supports our view that the UK economy will record steady growth in the first quarter, despite the recent disappointing construction and production figures.’

He added: ‘Challenges remain - we must address the youth unemployment rate. Although it continues to fall, it is still more than three times the national average.’