Town thriving as claimant count falls

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St Helens is most definitely working after the latest job figures showed unemployment in the town continues to fall across the board.

The most recent statistics on the labour market showed November’s claimant count is both lower than last month’s and below the figure recorded this time last year.

It’s going in the right direction. It’s all good news and we want to keep those trends going

Phil Deegan

Altogether there were 3,095 people in the town claiming out-of-work benefits last month, with 1,965 men and 1,130 women receiving some form of support.

These figures are a four per cent call in claimants on November 2015, with a five per cent reduction in 18-to-24-year-olds needing out-of-work help compared to 12 months ago.

The Jobcentre Plus said it was excellent news for St Helens, which is mirroring the drop in unemployment being felt right across Merseyside, and work is already being done to ensure continued reductions into 2017.

Phil Deegan, one of the Jobcentre’s Merseyside managers, said: “It’s going in the right direction. We’re currently planning a breakfast hospitality event in St Helens in January aimed at those coming out of seasonal and casual work over Christmas.

“What’s going on in St Helens is consistent with Merseyside where everyone has seen a reduction, and also with the comments made by the work and pensions minister Damian Green about having a joint record high number of women in work.

“It’s all good news and we want to keep those trends going.”

The figures showed there were 825 claimants in St Helens aged between 18 and 24 in November, with 485 of them aged between 18 and 21, as well as 1,680 people aged from 25 to 49 and 585 over 50s.

However, business organisation the CBI said the latest statistics showed a more mixed picture over the autumn period, with unemployment falling but the number of people in work also going down.

The CBI called for a boost in productivity as wages were not keeping up with rises in inflation, hitting workers in the pocket.