Employment hits a high as jobless total falls

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Job Centre Plus. Pic © Wikimedia Commons

Latest figures show unemployment in the North West has fallen by 17,000 over the last three-month period.

Employment across the UK has reached its highest rate since records began as unemployment remains at its lowest level for 11 years, which was down over 900,000 since 2010.

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, the national percentage of 16 to 24 year olds in employment is now 74.6%, which is the highest since 1971.

In the Merseyside area, Sefton showed the biggest improvement for the rise in employment. In February 2017, the number of young people aged 18-24 claiming unemployment benefits had fallen by 220, making it one of the strongest areas in the region compared to other local authorities.

Similarly in Liverpool, the claimant count also showed that for 18-24 year olds there was a 13% decrease compared to the previous year, with 335 less people claiming.

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Clive Morris, the JobCentre Plus spokesperson for Merseyside, told JMU Journalism: “The economy always rises and falls so over the period of 42 years inevitably you’d expect there to be times where employment or unemployment is higher or lower, so I think that’s probably what we’re seeing at the moment.”

He added: “The current picture shows that the Merseyside trend shows more people being in employment and less people claiming unemployment benefits. I think in a region like Merseyside it is very evident that, walking through city centres, Liverpool has benefited from a lot of regeneration and that stimulates a lot of job opportunities in a lot of different sectors including construction and hospitality. Liverpool is one of the major destinations people take short vacations – it’s one of the top cities that’s got lots to offer.”

In contrast to other northern cities, including the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ rivals such such as Manchester, Liverpool is a better performing city which is said to be due its higher productivity rates.

About Rosie Steedman, JMU Journalism