Number of young St Helens jobseekers plummets

A Jobcentre Plus
A Jobcentre Plus
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The number of young people claiming out-of-work benefits in St Helens has plummeted over the past year.

The latest labour market statistics show the number of 18-to-24-year-old claimants in the town has dropped by a staggering 13 per cent in the past 12 months.

There were 740 young people on out-of-work benefits in October.

Overall St Helens had 3,045 people needing some form of work-related support last month, a two per cent drop from the same time in 2016.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) celebrated the figures and said residents were grasping employment opportunities with both hands.

DWP spokesman for Merseyside Clive Morris said: "The figures for young people show a really strong picture. There's no one particular thing that's made a difference, it is just that there are opportunities out there for people.

"We are continuing to do what we do and employers feel confident enough to take people on.

"The St Helens area is still feeling the benefits of the M62 corridor with warehousing and logistics opportunities. That might be towards Warrington but roles are being filled by people from St Helens and elsewhere in Merseyside.

"Companies are bussing people in to help with transport opportunities for the work, much of which is shift-based.

"Amazon is also a huge recruiter in the run-up to Christmas so there's a lot of good news there.

"The other type of vacancy which is very much available at the moment is in the care sector, both residential and domiciliary. If people in St Helens are interested in careers or roles in that sector they should contact the Jobcentre."

Mr Morris said there were other pieces of positive news nationally, including record numbers of people over 50 in work with more than 10 million employed.

The DWP also says it believes that the number of short-term and zero-hours contracts are falling and the improved employment picture is mainly due to the availability of full-time posts.