UNEMPLOYMENT in the Portsmouth area has continued to fall, according to new statistics.
Labour Market Statistics from the office for National Statistics show employment in the UK reaching a record high from the period of October 2016 to September 2017.
With 32.2 million people now in work, the government says unemployment is at its lowest rate in the UK since 1975.
In the Portsmouth region, there are currently 107,500 people in employment – an increase of almost 6,000 from last year’s figures.
Retail and health and social work are the strongest industries across Portsmouth, with 15,000 employees in each sector.
But while employment goes up, the number of people who are self-employed in Portsmouth has fallen, from 13,100 to 12,100 in 12 months.
The self-employment figures have consistently fallen since October 2014.
Across the south east region, similar trends can be found.
There are now 4,647,000 in employment there, compared to 4,512,000 last year.
Fareham and Havant have seen the same increases in employment.
In Fareham, employment has risen from 56,600 to 59,900.
In Havant, a further 5,000 people have found themselves in work.
But in Gosport, employment has fallen from 43,500 to 39,400, a drop of 9.42 per cent.
The news has been welcomed by Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey.
She said: ‘We had a record-breaking 2017 for employment, and I’m delighted to see this trend continue as we enter the new year.
‘The number of people in work is at an all-time high and the unemployment rate has not been this low for over 40 years.
‘At this time of year, straight after Christmas, people might be feeling a squeeze on their finances. We’re determined to help people keep more of what they earn.
‘That’s why we’ve increased the National Living Wage, introduced Universal Credit to offer greater flexibility and taken millions of people out of income tax altogether by raising the tax-free personal allowance.’
Separate figures, which were also released yesterday. showed that there are 700,000 people claiming Universal Credit as the rollout of the new benefit continues, with 42 per cent in employment.