Unemployment levels remain steady

STEADY The number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance has remained constant over the past month
STEADY The number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance has remained constant over the past month

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THE number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance has remained fairly steady across the wider Portsmouth region during the month between July and August.

There are 238 fewer people claiming the benefit across south east Hampshire and Chichester, according to figures released this morning by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

When broken down into local authority areas, only two showed an increase in the number of benefits claimants.

In the area covered by Winchester City Council, 13 more people claimed the benefit, from 793 in July to 803 in August.

Fareham has also seen a small increase, with an extra three people claiming the benefit in August, taking the total for the borough to 1,000.

Elsewhere, the figures were in decline.

Gosport saw the highest fall in claimant numbers in proportion to how many people get the benefit in the borough each month.

In August there were 60 fewer claimants than in July, taking the number from 1,357 to 1,297.

Portsmouth also saw a fall, with 192 fewer claimants over the same time period. The numbers fell in the city council’s catchment area from 4,405 to 4,276.

East Hampshire Borough Council’s catchment area also saw a drop, from 870 to 841, meaning 29 fewer claimants.

And the Havant Borough Council area reported a similar drop, with 28 fewer claimants taking its numbers from 2,028 to 2,000.

Finally, Chichester District Council saw claimant numbers in its region drop by eight, from 1,147 to 1,139.

In total, the numbers fell from 11,597 to 11,359.

Nationally, ONS figures also showed the number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance fell 32,600 to 1.40 million, its lowest level since February 2009.

The overall rate of unemployment, dropped to 7.7 per cent between May and July from 7.8 per cent in the previous three months. The number of people unemployed fell 24,000 in the period to 2.49 million.