Jobless figure up for second month

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THE number of Wigan people out of work has gone up again.

Again bucking the national trend - this time in the opposite direction - the borough saw the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance rise by 87 while the country as a whole saw worklessness drop encouragingly.

The number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming the allowance went up by a negligible five to 2,885.

It is the second month running that the overall Wigan unemployment figure has gone up (it now stands at 9,471) after several months of going down when most of the country’s unemployment was increasing.

Dr Brian Sloan, Chief Economist at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “This rise in the claimant count is not unexpected given the weak economic conditions in Greater Manchester, accompanied by policy shifts and young people leaving full time education.

“The wider North West has performed better, more in line with the national picture, though comparing this latest release with the previous month’s however, suggests that job creation in the North West is stalling.

“The summer period has been a very slow period for the region’s economy, but these trends highlight the challenge of addressing high levels of worklessness, public sector spending dependency and getting back on to a sustainable growth path.

“We can sit back and blame the Eurozone or global conditions, but in reality more can be done now in the North West to secure our long term growth potential and provide job opportunities.

“Greater Manchester must be bolder in driving the delivery of these projects that will create the critical mass of economic activity for all to benefit.”