Jobs boost as St Helens bucks national trend

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St Helens is bucking the usual trends when it comes to keeping residents in work, with the town avoiding a post-Christmas unemployment rise.

There were 3,000 people in the town receiving out-of-work benefits in January, exactly the same number as in December and a decrease of 110 compared to 12 months ago.

This has delighted the Jobcentre Plus, which says it would normally expect to see the number of unemployed people rising at the start of the year as short-term contracts over Christmas and New Year finish.

The latest labour market figures show a 13 per cent drop in the number of 18-to-24-year-olds needing out-of-work benefits compared to January 2016.

Clive Morris, Jobcentre Plus spokesman for Merseyside, said: “The picture in St Helens is very good, we are seeing consistent decreases across the board which is great news.

“It is very positive that the figure has stayed the same as last month as we would normally expect to see a spike with seasonal circumstances.

“St Helens has also seen bigger drops in claimants than the Merseyside average.”

The Jobcentre Plus said the main sectors recruiting in St Helens currently are warehousing, retail and hospitality.

The organisation has also been offering office-based work academies in St Helens warehouses, with employers offering jobseekers bespoke packages of work experience and training with a guaranteed interview at the end.

Across the North West there were 99,900 people on out-of-work benefits, a decrease of 300 on the year.

Employment rose to 3,390,000 and the Government also celebrated figures suggesting record numbers of women in the region are in work.

Nationally the employment rate is now 74.6 per cent, the highest since records began in 1971.