There are fewer people on jobseekers’ allowance in 1066 country than 12 months ago and the south east has the highest employment rate in the UK, according to figures released today (Wednesday, May 18).
The Office of National Statistics’ figures show there were 240 fewer claimants of the benefit in Hastings than this time last year and 95 fewer in Rother, drops of 15 and 14 per cent respectively.
Across the south east, a record 4.5m people are in work, an increase of 49,000 from a year ago, and unemployment is down by 22,000 from last year to one million.
Jobcentre Plus manager Bruce Campbell said: “Locally we want to continue that trend so encouraging local employers who need help with employment to contact the job centre or visit www.gov.uk for more information.
“This is something we’re focusing on at the minute and we really want to continue what we have been doing over the last six months, building on the seasonal recruitment and to continue that through the rest of the year.”
Nationally the employment rate is up to 74.2 per cent, the highest percentage since records began in 1971, and more people in work than ever before.
More than 31.5m people have a job in the UK and secretary of state for work and pensions Stephen Crabb said families are benefiting from it.
“These are another record-breaking set of figures, with more people in work than ever before and the unemployment rate is at the lowest in a decade at 5.1 per cent,” he said.
“There is great news in the south east, where there are now a record 4.5 million people in work. The area has the highest employment rate of any UK nation or region.
“More people in work means that more families across the UK are benefiting from the security of a regular wage and the fulfilment that employment brings.”
However, critics say the figures do not take into account those who are in employment but are on zero hours contracts.
Data from the Office for National statistics also suggested the national rise was partly due to women working longer because of the rise in pension age.
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