Another fall in unemployment

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WIGAN’S unemployment figures have fallen again.

Since a sharp rise at the beginning of the year, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has steadily declined.

A drop of 130 in March has now been followed by a further reduction of 121 last month to 9,545.

Encouragingly for the age group worst hit by job woes, the number of Wigan 18 to 24-year-olds out of work fell by 105 to 2,735.

Regionally the claimant count has risen in the first quarter of the year.

Christian Spence, Research Manager at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “There is mixed news in these figures, and we have been warning Government for a number of years about the risks to the domestic regional economy if internal demand was not supported.

“The region’s construction sector continues to see constrained order books at a time when demand for housing and infrastructure is strong. Government could and should have done more to support the region’s economy earlier, and we have concerns that last week’s Queen’s Speech shows little evidence that the government intends to change its path.

“The North West is a strong and important part of the UK’s economy and Greater Manchester is the primary urban heart of the region, but government must look to act quickly if it is to avoid permanently disadvantaging the region by concentrating its efforts on London and the South East.”