LONG term youth unemployment in the Express area has fallen for the first time in more than two years.
The number of people aged 16 to 24 claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for a year or more in the Hemsworth parliamentary constituency fell from 160 to 155 between October and November last year.
The Express reported in September that the number rose from 25 in August 2011 to a staggering 145 in August 2012.
And the number continued to grow until 160 youths were out of work for a year or more in September and October.
But the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the number fell to 155 for November 2012 - the first fall since October 2010.
Peter Buttree, chair of the South Kirkby Community Association, which provides a job club and employment support said the figures may have fallen because of the Christmas rush.
He said: “It’s excellent news but it is to be expected at this time of year especially with the type of firms we have around the local area.
“We have a lot of distribution depots and they need extra staff in the run up to Christmas.
“I think it has fallen because a lot of people will have got short term employment but it is still good news in the sense that it shows people are getting back into work.”
Despite the slight drop to 155 young people claiming JSA , the latest figure is still almost 400 per cent higher than the amount of youths out of work in November 2011.
And despite the employment opportunities being seasonal Mr Buttree said any job is good experience for youngsters.
He added: “Every job that you see advertised these days require experience of some sort.
“A lot of these young people just want the opportunity of a job and whether it’s short term or long term, it’s a job to them.”
Meanwhile, unemployment as a whole across the constituency also fell for the third consecutive month.
The total number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in November was 2,451.
The drop follows a fall from 2,617 in September to 2,526 people in October.
November’s figure is the lowest since November 2011 and is the first time the figure has fallen for three consecutive months in more than three years.
MP for Hemsworth, Jon Trickett, 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.
“Figures may be falling as people move off contribution based JSA and, whilst no longer a JSA statistic, they are still unemployed.”