MORE people are in work across the Portsmouth area than ever before, fresh figures have today revealed.
The unemployment rate has continued to fall to new record lows locally, mirroring the national trend.
While there is an all-time high in the number of women now in work across the area.
The news has been welcomed by bosses at Jobcentre Plus, who said it was a sign of how healthy the economy was in the city and its surrounding boroughs.
Lynne Grimes, Jobcentre Plus’ customer service operations manager for Hampshire, said: ‘Levels of people working are better than they have ever been.
‘It’s good news for the Portsmouth economy.
‘There are more women in work now than there has ever been, which is a fantastic achievement.’
The number of residents in Portsmouth receiving jobseeker’s allowance has fallen by 15 compared with this time last year, with 2,015 now receiving benefits – a fall of about one per cent.
A similar decrease was seen in Fareham, too, with 15 fewer people now receiving benefits, down to 410 compared with 425 last year.
The figure for Gosport has not changed from 2015, staying fixed at 575 residents receiving JSA.
Havant was the only area that saw a surge in people claiming benefits, with 1,010 now receiving JSA – up from 70 compared to this time last year.
Nationally, there are now 31.8m people in work, up by 2.7m since 2010.
Work and pensions secretary Damian Green said: ‘This year will be remembered as one when so many records were made – employment has consistently been running at an all-time high with more women, older workers and ethnic minority groups in work than ever before.’
The figures come ahead of a change in the benefits system, which will see a cap of £20,000 being introduced from next week, affecting hundreds of families in the area.
Mrs Grimes is urging those who will be affected to visit their local Jobcentre or log on to www.jobcentreguide.co.uk