Jobless total falls again but budgets still squeezed

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THE encouraging reduction in Wigan’s dole queues continued last month.

The number of people in Wigan claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) fell by 325 from July to August and now stands at 8,324 continuing its recent trend.

The number of under-25s claiming the benefit fell by 150 and now stands at 2,270.

Overall the number of people out of work in Wigan borough has fallen by more than 1,400 in the last six months and is following a county- and nationwide trend.

Christian Spence, head of Business Intelligence at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “In line with our forecasts, the labour market in Greater Manchester is improving and the private sector continues to create more than enough jobs to offset the recent redundancies from the public sector.

“We expect the position to continue to improve as we move toward the end of the year with other survey data suggesting that the service sector is likely to move to hire more people over the coming months as backlogs are beginning to build.

“We do, however, have areas of concern: The number of people claiming JSA for over 12 months and longer continues to rise, suggesting that the country is developing a section of the labour market which is becoming more excluded. Any government interventions should focus on these harder-to-reach individuals who are at risk of becoming permanently detached from the world of work.

“Average pay rose by 1.1 per cent in the year to July, which means that the real-terms wage squeeze on households is continuing. With CPI inflation running at 2.8 per cent, consumers will still face declining disposable incomes.”