St Helens' unemployment rate falls again

A Jobcentre Plus
A Jobcentre Plus
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Fewer people in St Helens are claiming out-of-work benefits compared to either last month or last year.

The latest labour market statistics show there were 2,935 people on out-of-work benefits in November.

This is a five per cent drop on the figure recorded this time last year and also a reduction from the 3,085 claimants in October.

Among young jobseekers the fall in those needing out-of-work benefits was even greater, with a drop of 140 people or 17 per cent in the 18-to-24 age bracket compared to 12 months ago.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said a combination of seasonal and permanent roles were getting residents back into work and St Helens was performing strongly in the region.

DWP spokesman for Merseyside Clive Morris said: "There are certainly seasonal opportunities for people to take advantage of at this time of year but local Jobcentre Plus staff are saying to us there has been a lot of recruitment for full-time vacancies.

"The warehouse sector is taking on St Helens customers right from Haydock to the other end of the logistics corridor at Warrington, and employers further afield than that are offering transport from the area.

"I think that kind of work is attractive to young people who are quite happy to get a bit of experience.

"There have also been opportunities in call centre work and there is constant demand for care work.

"It's difficult to compare across Merseyside because of the Universal Credit roll-out but St Helens is performing most strongly of the three authorities we can look at."

Nationally the unemployment rate in November was 4.3 per cent, the joint-lowest since 1975 and a reduction from the 4.8 per cent recorded this time in 2016.