YOUTH unemployment has drastically fallen locally over the last five years, according to the latest job statistics.
The government claims that figures from the Office for National Statistics show the UK continues to have the best jobs market in decades with the unemployment rate at a near record 40 year low, 4.1 per cent and employment rate at a joint-record of 75.7 per cent.
The figures also found youth unemployment rate has almost halved since 2010, with female employment at a near record high of 71.2 per cent.
In Fareham the number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell 40 per cent from 2013 to 470, in Gosport this number was 705, 36 per cent down from 2013, in Havant it was 1,135, 39 per cent down from 2013 and in Portsmouth the figure fell by 40 per cent in 2013 to 2,380.
Or specifically for the 18-24 age group; Fareham saw a drop of 57 per cent to 100, Gosport dropped 51 per cent to 170, in Havant it dropped 64 per cent to 215 and Portsmouth only 400 were out of work, 57 down from 2013
Rachel Spilman, work coach team Leader at Portsmouth Jobcentre Plus, said the picture for Portsmouth and the surrounding area remains positive.
She said she was encouraged to see that the south west is consistently maintaining the highest employment rate in the country (78.7 per cent).
She said: ‘Locally, we have seen a tremendous improvement in the last five years in helping 18 to 24-year-olds into work, with an average reduction of 58.8 per cent of this age group claiming work related benefits, and a 40.4 per cent reduction across all age groups.
‘Our Jobcentres are working very closely with local employers to make sure our customers benefit from the opportunities available – in both Portsmouth and Havant we have been working closely with Poundstretcher, with 20 job offers in Havant alone.
‘Gosport Jobcentre has been working with the new retailers for Brockhurst Gate Retail Park and are very excited about the Gosport Leisure Centre Jobs fair coming up on January 31.
‘Universal Credit is now live across all of our local Jobcentres and we are receiving positive feedback from our customers – that the system is quicker and easier to navigate than the previous system, that it’s easy to maintain contact with their Work Coach through their online journal, and that they generally feel well supported on their journey towards work.’