Claimant count fall comes to halt

A Jobcentre Plus
A Jobcentre Plus

The latest labour market figures show almost identical numbers of St Helens residents are claiming out-of-work benefits as 12 months ago.

Statistics reveal there were 3,130 claimants in the town in June, a reduction of 10 on the figure recorded this time in 2016.

Young people show a 10 per cent drop in claimants and we have to take positives from that as it is very important to support that age group

Clive Morris

The difference was too small to come up as a year-on-year percentage change.

The June data comes after a number of significant year-on-year falls in the number of people needing out of work benefits but the result was dismissed as a blip.

However, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said there was good news among young jobseekers, with the 745 people aged 18 to 24 claiming out-of-work benefits a drop of 80 from June 2016.

DWP spokesman for Merseyside Clive Morris said: “The change doesn’t register in percentage terms, it has been static since this time last year.

“The picture across the North West is still very robust but within the labour market we can get monthly fluctuations. There’s nothing I can suggest to explain this other than that.

“Young people do show a 10 per cent drop in claimants and we have to take positives from that as it is very important to support that age group.”

Mr Morris said the Jobcentre Plus was continuing to work with St Helens residents helping older people get back into the workplace and brushing up digital skills where needed.

DWP staff are also working in schools and colleges ensuring that young people finishing their studies and entering the labour market for the first time this summer have the best-possible chance of landing jobs.

The broader labour market figures for June show record numbers of people in work across the region, with 3.45m employees in the North West.

A total of 1,920 men and 1,215 women claimed out-of-work benefits in St Helens in June.