Latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has shown that 6,725 people were claiming some form of job-seekers benefits, down by a whopping 3,509 – or 34 per cent – from the same period last year.
And among the cohort of 18-24-year-olds in the city hunting for jobs, the situation is even more promising, with 759 fewer youngsters looking for employment compared to last year – a drop of 42 per cent.
Adele Baker, who is part of the employment team at Portsmouth Jobcentre, insisted the team was not resting on its laurels and said new initiatives have helped people find new careers.
She added: ‘With record levels of vacancies across the country it’s our top priority to work with our local employers and we are continuing to invite businesses, especially in the key industries such as hospitality and transport, into our jobcentres.
‘By hosting employers on site, a growing number of jobseekers have been offered jobs on the spot through being able to meet and talk to employers immediately about what they can offer.
‘Having two jobcentres in the Portsmouth area has allowed us increase our support to jobseeker’s through maximising our ability to meet with them frequently and support their search for work.’
Across the south east, the number of people employed is at 4,558,000 – up 25,000 on the last quarter.
Meanwhile, the employment rate for those aged 16 to 64 is at 78.1 per cent, higher than the UK average of 75.5 per cent.
While the number of people unemployed is at 163,000 – down 34,000 on the quarter.
Employment minister Mims Davies said the figures were promising and added: ‘With the UK unemployment rate returning to the lowest we have seen in nearly 50 years, it is clear our “Plan for Jobs” has worked – protecting livelihoods and businesses throughout the pandemic.’
The Labour Party has previously accused the government of failing to create enough jobs.
It said it could create 400,000 new jobs and put in place a ‘jobs promise’ for young people, ensuring that any young person away from work for six months would be offered quality education, training, employment or opportunity.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: ‘Labour’s plan to create hundreds of thousands of jobs would boost employment right across the country, creating secure employment in clean industries including our country’s vital manufacturing industries.
‘Under the Conservatives, our manufacturers have been neglected, putting jobs at risk whilst ministers have done favours for their friends.
‘The people of Britain deserve better – opportunities, fairness, and good jobs in their communities which are a source of pride and dignity. The Conservatives can’t be trusted to deliver that.’
:: An employment event, staged by restaurant and pub firm Mitchells & Butlers and supported by the Portsmouth Jobcentre, is being held on April 29. It will take place at the Great Salterns pub, in Eastern Road, Copnor, from 9am to 7pm and will feature a range of vacancies in the hospitality sector.