More than 8,000 jobless in the north of the county

The job centre in Upper Mounts.

The job centre in Upper Mounts.

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The unemployment picture in the north of the county changed very little last month.

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics show there were 8,141 people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in north Northamptonshire in May.

This is a fall of 12 compared with April, when there were 8,129 claimants.

The unemployment rate in Corby was the highest in the area at 6.2 per cent, which equated to 2,189 claimants.

The rate in Kettering was 3.9 per cent, or 2,257 claimants, and the rate in Wellingborough was 4.4 per cent, or 2,145 claimants.

East Northamptonshire had the lowest rate at 2.9 per cent, which equated to 1,550 claimants.

The East Midlands average was 3.8 per cent and the national average was 3.9 per cent.

Nationally, the jobless total dropped 51,000 to 2.61m in the quarter to April, while the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in May rose by 8,100 to 1.6m, ending two months of declines.

The number of people in work saw its biggest increase since the quarter to August 2010 as the employment rate increased by 166,000 to almost 29.28m.

Almost 8m people are now in a part-time job, while those working part-time because they cannot find full-time work increased by 25,000 to 1.4m.

Youth unemployment has also fallen, down by 29,000 over the latest quarter to 1.01m.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “Any fall in unemployment is very welcome but I remain cautious over the next few months, given the continuing economic challenges we face.”

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Today’s figures show some long overdue good news in the labour market. New full-time jobs have been created and employment is up while unemployment has fallen.

“However, there are still real concerns about this being a sustainable recovery. We now need to turn today’s positive news into a steady fall in unemployment. The Government must invest in jobs to get the economy growing again.”