Decrease in number of unemployed

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The number of unemployed folk in Wigan is on the decline again after a previous brief rise.

The total of 5,430 Jobseekers’ Allowance claimaints in April was a drop of 80 from March’s 5,510 which itself was 135 up on February.

The latest figures are also 345 lower than a year previously.

The number of claimants aged between 18 and 25 has also decreased after two months of going up.

Currently there are 1,310 young people in that age bracket, which is 45 down on the previous month and 50 down on the previous year.

Wigan job centre partnership manager Kathryn Johnston says the heavy focus of working on getting people into work is paying off.

“We are continuing to work very closely with Wigan Youth Zone,” she said. “We’ve just had 13 students complete a pre-employment course, preparing them for applying for jobs and apprenticeships with local employers. We’re also working on recruitment with Aldi logistics.

“They’ve got a logistics side just off junction 4 on the M61 so they’re looking to recruit 25 logistic sector roles in July so we are doing a recruitment programme with Bolton, Salford and Wigan local authorities and it’s for 19 to 24-year-olds.”

The Job Centre also held an employment day at their Leigh base yesterday with nearly 200 claimants invited.

Kathryn added: “We had a Jobs Today, Work Tomorrow event at Leigh job centre. We had 17 employers in total attending the event with 190 claimants invited and we’re doing some sessions around myths and realities. It’s a little bit like explaining in various sectors and the armed forces were there.

“Another initiative we’re looking at, and this isn’t just around the younger element, is we’re working very closely with Red Rock recruitment. They took over the Remploy site in Pemberton a couple of years ago.

“They’re working with us to recruit a further 20 staff on permanent vacancies and the people they are looking at are people with concerned health issues. So that is a really exciting piece of work we are doing at the moment.

“We are also working really closely with Wigan Council.

“They are doing two Deal days, one in Wigan and one in Leigh so we will be having a presence there this Friday in Wigan and next Friday in Leigh.”

There is good news on both a national and regional front too with more people in work than ever before.

Official figures show there are now 31.58 million people in work and the unemployment rate remains at 5.1 per cent, the lowest in a decade and below recession levels.

Work and Pensions Stephen Crabb minister said: “These are another record-breaking set of figures, with more people in work than ever before and the unemployment rate is at the lowest in a decade at 5.1 per cent.

“And it’s fantastic news in the North West where there is a record 3.39 million people now in work, and the region has a record employment rate of 73.4 per cent.

“More people in work means that more families across the UK are benefiting from the security of a regular wage and the fulfilment that employment brings.