More Wiganers in work over Christmas

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The number of Wiganers claiming out-of-work benefits saw a slight drop last month, but was still higher than the amount of claimants this time last year.

The latest official labour market statistics revealed 5,120 claimants in December, only slightly less than the 5,175 residents who claimed benefits in November.

The number of 18-24 year olds on Job Seekers’ Allowance and Universal Credit also had a minimal drop from 1,230 to 1,215.

The overall number of out-of-work claimants in the run up to Christmas was five percent higher than December 2015, but was still a 38 percent decrease since 2010.

Nationally, the number of jobless people stands at 1.6 million, an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent.

Jobcentre Plus employer team manager for Wigan, Linda Bailey said the latest statistics were a positive downward trend.

“We’re going in the right direction. It’s always a tricky time of year,” she said.

Ms Bailey also said that Jobcentre Plus would be promoting a range of job opportunities, particularly across growth sectors such as home care and call centres.

“The home care contracts are put in place for people who are thinking about this as a career.

“I would encourage people who think this might be for them, that this is a really rewarding career.”

Job fares will also take place towards the end of the month.

Wigan Life Centre North will hold their fair on Tuesday January 31.

Leigh Job Centre will do the same on February 1.

Both job fairs will run from 10am-1pm.