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East Midlands Chamber News

Claimant count continues to fall across region

The number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance has fallen again.

Nationally, the figure dropped from 1,222,406 in May to 1,172,963 in June, a fall of 49,443, according to data released today by the Office for National Statistics.

UK figures showed a fall of 55,976 from 1,495,758 to 1,439,782 for the same

It is the fourth consecutive monthly fall and in both England and the UK the figures are down on the same period a year earlier.

Regionally and locally, the trend was repeated.

The claimant count for the East Midlands for June was 97,471, over 10,000 lower than the June 2012 figure of 107,827 and nearly 5,000 lower than the May 2013 figure of 102,214.

In Derby and Derbyshire the figures also fell.

The number of JSA claimants in Derby was 6,841, down 441 on May’s 7,282 figure and 1,058 against June 2012’s count of 8,340.

The number of claimants across Derbyshire fell 943 from 13,903 in May to 12,960 in June 2013, a drop of 2,701 against June 2012.}

In Nottingham and Nottinghamshire the figures also fell.

The number of JSA claimants in Nottingham was 13,145, down 622 on May’s 13,767 figure and 943 against June 2012’s count of 14,088.

The number of claimants across Nottinghamshire fell 661 from 15,940 in May to 15,279 in June 2013, a drop of 1,441 against June 2012.

Ian GreenawayIan Greenaway, President of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, the second largest Chamber in the UK, said: “We have seen a rise in business confidence in recent months and this is being reflected in falling claimant count figures and rising employment in some sectors.

“This region relies quite highly on the public sector for employment and there have been cuts which have hurt. But the private sector has been recruiting at a rate of two-to-one for each public sector job lost.

“Our Quarterly Economic Survey for the second quarter of 2013 evidenced what we were being told anecdotally by members and other businesses, which is that confidence is rising.

“The Government has seen fit to invest in the East Midlands, through initiatives such as the Regional Growth Fund, and that confidence has to be matched by business, it is almost infectious – investment breeds confidence which creates recruitment and further investment. It’s self-sustaining once it starts.”

But Ian added: “While this continuing trend of falling claimant counts is excellent news we must remember that there still a lot of people out of work and not contributing to UK PLC.

“This is no time to rest on our laurels and we must continue to do everything we can, through apprenticeships, the Work Programme, by encouraging more inward investment and by helping to drive national and international sales of local goods, to create more jobs, more wealth, more investment.

“And the Government can’t be allowed to think it is off the hook just because there is more business confidence. We need it to continue to take the initiative to create opportunities for investment and to actively support the green shoots of recovery we are seeing.”