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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Unemployment across Cumbria falls by 4.1%

UNEMPLOYMENT figures have fallen across Cumbria – but there are still thousands of people looking for work.

Figures released yesterday show unemployment has fallen by 77,000 nationally in the past three months – bringing the rate of overall unemployment below seven per cent.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Cumbria fell by 289 to 6,514 from February to March, a fall of 4.1 per cent from last month.

The count is 2,347 lower than it was a year ago and has the drop in claimants was 26.5 per cent fewer in Cumbria compared with 24.5 per cent.

In Barrow unemployment stands at 7.7 per cent, or around 2,000 people, in Copeland 6.5 per cent of the population is looking for work, which again is around 2,000 and in South Lakeland 2.5 per cent of the population is unemployed – the equivalent of 1,000 people.

Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, said: “Our area has a much lower than average unemployment rate, but that is no comfort to those seeking work.

“I am working hard with local businesses to encourage them to take on apprentices and take advantage of schemes to assist with employing people.

“I am also working with further education providers to make sure learning opportunities to support apprentices and other workers is available.”

The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics showed wages also rose in the year by 1.7 per cent, against yesterday’s announcement that March’s inflation had dropped to 1.6 per cent.

Phil Collier, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses in Furness, said: “The wage increase shows some evidence of cautious optimism.

“However, the government needs to be careful how it’s managed going forward.

“Many smaller businesses haven’t had a pay rise so in real terms employees have had a pay cut.”

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