THE number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Burton and its surrounding areas has dropped yet again, bringing the amount to its lowest in five years.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show the number of those out of work in East Staffordshire last month stood at 1,415 – down from 1,599 in August.
The amount of people making claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance in South Derbyshire also dropped, after a slight rise in the figure last month.
Burton MP Andrew Griffiths said: “I think we are really seeing, month on month, some incredibly encouraging unemployment figures in Burton, and this substantial reduction is the most encouraging to date.
“We can’t be complacent, and there is still a lot more to do, but things like the recent jobs fair are clearly helping to get people back into work and reduce unemployment in the area.”
More than 1,600 people turned out to the jobs fair which Mr Griffiths organised at the Pirelli Stadium last month, with major companies such as JCB, Marston’s and Molson Coors among those taking stands at the event.
Employment in South Derbyshire has been boosted this year by the creation of jobs by a number of major employers in the area.
Heather Wheeler, MP for the constituency, told the Mail: “I’m delighted that unemployment is down month on month, but, even more importantly, that it is 308 lower than September 2012. It’s very good news indeed.
“These jobs are really good jobs with good prospects – that’s what South Derbyshire is becoming known for.”
In Staffordshire as a whole, jobless figures fell for the sixth month in a row – statistics which helped the West Midlands as a whole see its first decrease this year.
Staffordshire county councillor Mark Winnington said: “This is a sure sign that we are a county of opportunity with more business development planned and work to increase skills growing.”