Fall in unemployment bucks national trend

Wakefield town hall, dept leader Denise Jeffery .
Wakefield town hall, dept leader Denise Jeffery .

UNEMPLOYMENT across the district fell for the second consecutive month despite national figures rising to the highest since July.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in Hemsworth fell from 2,617 in September to 2,526 people in October, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

The drop follows a fall of 81 people between August and September and is the lowest for the Hemsworth constituency since December last year.

National figures rose to 1.58m, the biggest monthly rise since last September.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic growth, said: “I am pleased that unemployment has fallen for two consecutive months in this area and we will continue to do all we can to support and develop employment opportunities.

“We will be stepping up our efforts to bring new jobs into the district and the wider city region, with new opportunities being created with the regeneration of Wakefield city and progress in the Five Towns.”

But Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett said that whilst the fall is good news, unemployment still remains an issue.

He said: “This is positive news if the figures actually do reflect an increase in full time employment in our area.

“The story on the ground, however, appears to be very different.

“I am hearing of people coming off Jobseeker’s Allowance because they have found a job for a few hours a week which they take in the hope that it will lead to more hours.

“Figures may also be falling as people move off contribution based JSA and, whilst no longer a JSA statistic, they are still unemployed.”