COMMENT - Worries over new job stats

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CONSIDERING the economic woes Wigan has suffered in decades past, the borough has fared relatively well in the aftermath of this latest recession so far.

It retains its position near the bottom of a table of Jobseekers’ Allowance claimaints in Greater Manchester and on the whole its retail unit occupancy figures are much better than most.

Up until June this year, unemployment levels had been going steadily downwards in the face of rises in many other parts of the country.

But perhaps inevitably the trend could not continue unchecked, given the many negative pressures continuing, including the soaring cost of living and raw materials and large-scale public authority job cuts.

And so in both July and now August we have seen the number of claimants jump by 450 to break the 9,000 barrier for the first time in several years.

We knew the tough times hadn’t gone and here are figures that suggest there could be more storms to weather yet before Wigan bounces back.