Jobless figures fall again

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THE number of Wiganers out of work has dropped for the fourth month running.

The latest fall was a modest reduction in those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance of 40 - but it at least maintains an encouraging downward momentum which first started in late February.

Last month 9,278 people in Wigan claimed the benefit compared with 9,318 in May.

Meanwhile the number of 18 to 24-year-old claimants also fell, with 2,830 claiming the benefit last month compared with 2,885 the month before.

Under-25s out of work has been a particular problem in Wigan and that number still constitutes almost a third of all those folk on the dole.

Dr Brian Sloan, Chief Economist at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “Today’s labour market figures are once again encouraging for the region’s job seekers, as the claimant count across Greater Manchester fell for the fourth consecutive month by 696 to 83,736.

“Businesses have continued to report to us through our Quarterly Economic Survey that they are creating more jobs and looking ahead that is set to continue. There was also a further fall in the number of young people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance across Greater Manchester.

“The wider North West saw the highest increase of any UK region in the number of people moving into employment, increasing by 64,000 compared with the previous quarter. These numbers reinforce the positive trends that the Chamber has been keen to highlight in recent months and suggest that the region is continuing to see growth at present.

“Challenges remain, particularly in addressing the high level of youth unemployment, and whilst we are moving in the right direction more must be done to support investment.

“There are many infrastructure and large scale private sector investments that have been stalled for too long and we must get these under way to create more jobs in our region, especially in the construction sector. In the months ahead there will be upward pressure on unemployment and the Jobseeker’s Allowance count, as young people leave full-time education and this will mask some of the positive news.”