Belper bucks jobless trend

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The amount of people looking for work in Belper town centre has fallen to its lowest level since the start of the 2008 recession.

There are now 76 people claiming jobseekers allowance in the Belper Central Ward, compared to 138 in August 2009.

Meanwhile, the number of people looking for work across the whole of Derbyshire went up by 354 to 14,692 after falling for two consecutive months as companies took on extra workers for the Christmas period.

Scott Knowles, deputy chief executive of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Although the Derbyshire figures show an increase in claimants on the previous month, it’s important to remember that seasonal recruitment normally peaks in November, which has an impact on the figures.

“A number of firms, particularly those reliant on customer footfall, lost business because of the snow and this may have had an impact on their seasonal recruitment plans, with businesses not needing to take on extra staff to cope with the traditional rise in demand over the Christmas period.

“Most seasonal employment will come to an end in January and February, which may lead to a further rise in the claimant count.

“Our research has found that 20 per cent of firms are looking to recruit in the first three months of the year and, while firms remain cautious, there is still optimism out there in the private sector.”

In the Belper East Ward there are 61 people claiming jobseekers, the lowest amount since January 2011.

Belper North has 60 claimants, the fewest in a year, while Belper South has 90 jobseekers, which apart from August last year is the lowest it has been since January 2009.

In Duffield there are 31 claimants - the lowest amount since November 2008.

Around 2.9 per cent of people claim jobseekers in Amber Valley, compared to the national average of 3.7 per cent.

Nationally, the number of people claiming jobseekers’ allowance last month fell by 4,100 to 1.46 million.

Employment Minister Mark Hoban said: “It’s good to see long-term unemployment falling and the number of young people claiming JSA dropping again, while the increase in vacancies shows there are jobs out there.

“But we are not complacent, and will continue making sure we give jobseekers the support and training they need.”