Huge drop in young jobseekers

A Jobcentre Plus
A Jobcentre Plus
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The number of young St Helens residents claiming out-of-work benefits has fallen by 15 per cent in a year.

The latest labour market statistics show 720 people in the 18-to-24 age bracket were looking for work in September, a massive drop from the same month in 2016.

The overall claimant figures showed good news as well with 3,050 people on out-of-work benefits, a fall of around 40 people or one per cent from September 2016.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) expressed delight at the figures but was unable to give specific reasons for St Helens' successes getting residents into the workplace.

DWP spokesman for Merseyside Clive Morris said: "The figure among young people really is a big drop.It's much bigger than other local authorities in the city region.

"I really can't give an explanation for it but overall the trend is that youth unemployment is on the decrease in the region and across the country.

"It suggests ourselves and the educational establishments are getting the training right, making sure opportunities are in place and we are aware of the latest developments and future trends.

"I also think that we are in a digital labour market with a lot of applications online and on social media and young people are very savvy there, but that is only a personal opinion."

Mr Morris said the DWP is also recruiting more work coaches across Merseyside to enable the Jobcentre Plus to provide more one-to-one sessions and flexible engagement with customers.

The organisation is now increasingly focused locally on supporting older people and those with additional medical needs, who often require extra help.

Currently there are 3.44 million people in work in the North West, an employment rate of 74.1 per cent, and the unemployment rate stands at 4.4 per cent.