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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Cumbria’s jobless figures still falling

UNEMPLOYMENT in Cumbria has fallen for the fifth month in a row, new figures show.

A further 20 people aged between 16 to 24 in South Lakeland signed up for benefits between November and December.

This means 225 youngsters in the area are now claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). South Lakeland was the only district in Cumbria which saw an increase last month.

In Barrow, 40 people aged 16 to 24 stopped claiming the benefit and the total amount of youngsters on JSA stands at 7.2 per cent of the population. In Copeland, 7.5 per cent of youngsters claim JSA.

Almost a third of all claimants in Cumbria were young people aged 16 to 24 - a total of 2,585.

The JSA claimant count in Cumbria fell by 93 between November and December to 8,438 – a fall of 1.1 per cent from the November figures and a fall of 385 from a year ago (-4.4 per cent).

This is the fifth consecutive month that the count has fallen in Cumbria.

In Barrow, there are 1,761 people claiming the benefit, whilst there are 1,500 in Copeland and 830 in South Lakeland.

Four out of every ten of claimants in the county have been on the benefit for more than six months; and Barrow had the highest figure in Cumbria, with 3.9 per cent of residents falling into this category.

Barrow’s Central ward has the highest unemployment rate in the county at 9.9 per cent.

Minister for employment, Mark Hoban, said the continued drop in claimants showed that more people are getting back into work.

He said: “It’s good to see long-term unemployment falling and the number of young people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance dropping again.

“And the increase in vacancies shows there are jobs out there.

“But we are not complacent, and will continue making sure we give jobseekers the support and training they need to achieve their goal of returning to work.”

Liam Byrne, shadow work and pensions secretary, yesterday said there were divisions in employment across the country.

He said: “Today’s headline fall in unemployment is welcome news, but today’s figures show no roaring recovery, they show very shaky foundations.

“Half of the country saw yet another rise in unemployment, nearly half a million people have been on the dole for more than a year, and youth unemployment rose.”

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