MORE than 2,000 18 to 24-year-olds in St Helens claimed jobseeker’s allowance last month - the highest number for many years.
In total, 2,045 18 to 24-year-olds claimed the out of work benefit in March, which rates as a staggering 13.2 per cent of the eligible young people in St Helens.
Worryingly, 165 of them have been claiming the benefit for at least 12 months.
Across all age ranges, 5,932 people claimed jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) in St Helens last month - more than 4,000 of whom were men.
All unemployment rates in St Helens were again higher than the regional and national averages and, locally, there are now 8.2 JSA claimants per unfilled job vacancy.
Despite the grim news, employment minister Chris Grayling insists that the labour market is starting to show signs of stabilisation.
He said: “We are pushing ahead with our strategy to promote investment and new jobs in the private sector and support people currently without work to take up those jobs.”