Jobless total continues to fall in 2016

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The number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance has continued to slide but the borough’s jobless total is higher than this time last year.

In total there are 5,325 claimants in Wigan, as opposed to 5,130 last year, new figures released yesterday show.

The figure is sliding after a new-year spike in jobs.

One positive is the drop in the number of claimants 
aged 18-24 which has gone down by 50 in the last month alone.

Steve Dillon, a work coach at Wigan’s Job Centre, reckons the future is brighter for Wigan with a host economic highlights on the horizons.

“We are all obviously aware of the opportunities coming to Wigan in the future, he said.

“We have the new development at Robin Park that is coming as well as a new Aldi opening in Leigh and an Iceland opening in Ashton.

“We are already working with those with regards to future opportunities.

“The number of 18-24 claimants has come down quite a lot and that’s through working with partners around the borough to get people into work.

“We are also working digitally now, and we’re very active on Twitter.

“A lot of agencies use Twitter so it is quite useful.”

The latest UK jobs numbers show that although employment is broadly stable, unemployment has increased for the first time since mid-2015, up by 21,000 on the previous period.

Wage growth has slowed - with earnings, including bonuses, up by 1.8 per cent, a slower increase then the 2.1 per cent in the previous period.

The disappointing results mirror the finding of the latest FSB Small Business Index which revealed small business confidence is at its lowest level since 2013.

Mike Cherry, FSB Policy Director, said: “We are beginning to see the number of people out of work creep back up.”