Wigan continues to buck unemployment claimant trend

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WIGAN has again managed to buck a regional trend by increasing the number of its citizens in work.

For the second month running the borough is one of the few in the region which has seen unemployment fall.

The April figures were a close-run thing with a single figure drop in the number claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (the only fall in Greater Manchester).

But newly released statistics show that May produced a more substantial decrease in Wigan - of 154 - and a small overall drop in Greater Manchester. The number of Wigan Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants now stands at 8,595.

The fall is more in line with national rather than regional trends.

Jerry Stokes, Chief Executive of Work Solutions, an organisation working with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce which helps get unemployed adults into work, said: “Today’s national labour market statistics will be welcomed by the Government as they show a fall in unemployment.

“It is disappointing that this trend is not reflected in the North West, with data showing that unemployment is increasing and the number of people in work is falling.

“Our data suggesting there has been healthy private sector job creation in manufacturing and the professional services sector across Greater Manchester, which has led to the claimant count for Greater Manchester falling by 142 in May.

“This would have been stronger had we not started to see the impact of public sector losses and the Government’s policy of moving people to Jobseeker’s Allowance from other benefits.

“We should take this as positive news that business confidence is holding up at present and there are jobs out there; but regional disparities exist and it will be easier for some rather than others to find work.”