Rise in St Helens residents claiming out-of-work benefits

A Jobcentre Plus
A Jobcentre Plus

The number of St Helens residents claiming out-of-work benefits has risen but jobs bosses insist the economy is in good health.

The latest labour market figures show there were 4,400 people receiving some form of support in July, an increase of two per cent on the same time last year.

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The number of young people on out-of-work benefits has also jumped by 13 per cent over 12 months, to 854.

The full roll-out of Universal Credit means the Jobcentre is now working with people who have far bigger barriers to getting into the jobs market.

However, the Jobcentre said the picture in St Helens was still rosy despite the spike in claimants.

Jill Rothwell, Jobcentre manager, said: "We have seen this slight increase on last year but overall St Helens is looking quite buoyant."

The organisation is currently helping Amazon fill 150 vacancies at its facility in Haydock and has been working in partnership with St Helens Council.

Most opportunities at the moment are in warehousing and logistics, the care sector and construction.

A total of 22 employers and partnership organisations recently attended an event at St Helens Town Hall where they gave out information and advice on apprenticeships and traineeships.

And the Jobcentre has been working with MD Productions, which recently organised the first St Helens Pride festival, to put 88 young people through its Blank Canvas programme.