Jobless figures are on the up

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THE number of Wiganers out of work has started going up again new figures reveal.

Latest data released by the Office of National Statistics show that last month 9,384 people aged 16 to 64 claimed Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) - 106 people more than did so. That’s 4.7 per cent of the borough population unemployed.

The rise marks the end of a four-month run of declining figures which started in February.

The number of 18 to 24-year-old claimants has also risen - from 2,830 young people in June to 2,880 last month - which equates to 11 per cent of that age group locally.

The increase matches the trend across the North West, as around 84,600 people were claiming JSA in Greater Manchester in July – higher than the figure for June 2012 of 83,700. Youth unemployment in the region has also increased, rising by nearly 300 to approximately 24,700. Nationally the figure fell.

Dr Brian Sloan, chief economist at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is very disappointing that the JSA count has increased. The labour market figures are likely to make for uncomfortable reading in the months ahead as young people leave full time education and seek work.

“The construction sector also remains a concern.”