THE number of East Staffordshire residents claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) is at its lowest level in five years, new figures reveal.
Burton MP Andrew Griffiths (pictured) said the news was ‘astounding’ and hoped that tomorrow’s jobs fair that he has organised at the Pirelli Stadium will help reduce the number even further.
The figures, released by the Office of National Statistics, reveal that the number of people claiming JSA in East Staffordshire dropped from 1,675 to 1,599 during August – a drop of 76 and now just 2.2 per cent of the population.
Mr Griffiths told the Mail: “These are incredibly encouraging figures and show that the economy locally continues to improve.
“It is astounding that we now have the lowest level of unemployment for five years and while we can’t be complacent it clearly demonstrates that the economy is on the mend.
“I hope that the coming months figures will be boosted by the job’s fair taking place on Friday which now has 1,200 jobs on offer.”
Youth unemployment did fall slightly last month in East Staffordshire but remains rather static.
Mr Griffiths said getting young people into the work place now has to be the focus.
Chris Plant, director of Burton and District Chamber, said the figures were ‘positive’, but more support was still needed.
He said: “The figures show that the economy is continuing to grow while the Government sticks with its deficit cutting plan.
“But more is needed to underpin the recovery, particularly around access to finance for viable businesses, and more support for firms looking to trade overseas.”
In South Derbyshire the jobless total actually rose slightly from 1,079 to 1,086 during August, but remains just 1.8 per cent of the population.
However, in North West Leicestershire there was a fall in claimants from 1,425 to 1,387 – the lowest since October 2010.