Unemployment figures fall

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THE number of Wigan’s jobless fell by 130 to 9,666 last month.

Meanwhile, the number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 10 to 2,840.

It is something of a relief for Wigan which suffered a big unemployment hike at the beginning of the year.

Across the North West unemployment fell by 7,000 in the three months to February, but there was an increase in the number of people that are classified as economically inactive.

Dr Brian Sloan, Chief Economist at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “Though broadly supportive of many of the government’s aims, the Chancellor’s plan for growth, like a sizeable portion of the labour market, isn’t working. Across Greater Manchester however the claimant count has fallen, despite the upward pressure on this number caused by changes to the welfare system.

“Our Quarterly Economic Survey indicated that job creation has remained positive in the private sector over the last few months and we have sent out that message to support confidence in local economic conditions. There are opportunities for job seekers, but it is still tough and uncertain.”

Figures released this week from the Totaljobs Barometer, which analyses the behaviour of 4.8 million jobseekers and 5,000 recruiters each month, show that the number of available jobs in the North West has risen by six per cent compared to this time last year.