Fall in Belper jobless figure

New figures show the number of Jobseekers Allowance claimants is nearing pre-recession levels in some parts of Belper.

Official data from the Office of National Statistics, show the number of claimants fell by 757 across Derbyshire last month.

The trend was echoed in most parts of Belper, with 68 people now claiming JSA in Belper Central, the lowest level since October 2008 and five fewer than last month.

Despite recent youth unemployment problems across the UK, in the Belper East Ward thereare now just 10 claimants aged between 18 and 24 - the lowest level since November 2008.

However, in Belper North the number of overall claimants rose by six up to 56. Meanwhile, in Belper South there were 87 claimants and apart from last month, that was the lowest level since December 2008.

Nationally, unemployment fell by 5,000 to 2.51m, whilst the JSA claimant count dropped by 8,600.

George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce, said the county’s economy was moving in the right direction: “Such a big drop in the number of JSA claimants is extremely welcome news. Wage restraint in the past few years, which employers and employees alike have recognised as necessary to avoid reducing staffing levels, will have contributed to the continuing fall in the JSA claimant count.

“Many firms – both anecdotally and through our survey work – are now reporting the need to take on additional resource to service increasing short-term sales and orders.

“It’s a clear indication that our economy is slowly moving in the right direction and will continue to get stronger as confidence returns and allows businesses to make long-term decisions about their future staffing requirements and investment needs.

“However, there is still a long way to go before we return to the levels of economic growth we saw before the recession and local businesses are still crying out for more support to help them drive growth, boost trade overseas and create jobs and wealth.”

Business leaders in Derbyshire have called for a shift in Government spending to stimulate the economy and invest in capital projects that can create jobs and growth.

Mr Gowcher added: “The Chancellor must take the opportunity of the forthcoming Spending Review to lay the foundations for a lower-tax economy by refocusing unproductive current expenditure towards investment which underpins economic stability and growth.”