UNEMPLOYMENT has dropped across the region to its lowest level for almost five years.
The drop in unemployment in Burton and South Derbyshire was not as steep as last month but still continued the downward trend which has been seen now for a sustained period.
The figures, released by the Office of National Statistics, reveal that the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in East Staffordshire dropped from 1,783 to 1,675 during July – a drop of 108.
This was a drop of 332 from the same point last year and means that 2.3 per cent of the East Staffordshire population are currently out of work – well below the national average.
Burton MP Andrew Griffiths told the Mail the figures showed things were ‘moving in the right direction’.
He said: “This is the latest in a series of incredibly positive and encouraging numbers both for Burton and the country.
“These are the best unemployment figures since the General Election and further demonstrate that the economy locally is responding well.
“However, there is still a great deal of work to do but I think the most important thing is to talk the economy up and encourage confidence that is returning across the country.”
In South Derbyshire, those claiming dropped from 1,098 to 1,079, while in North West Leicestershire there was a drop from 1,447 to 1,425.
Chris Plant, director of Burton and District Chamber, said support for the private sector was still needed.
He said: “At a time when the Government’s austerity plan remains in force and the public sector is shrinking, we are pleased the private sector is determined and able to create jobs.
“But it needs more support to sustain this, through increasing the flow of credit to viable businesses, a continued focus on keeping inflation low, and to reverse the large fall in investment in the UK that we have seen.”