Number of people unemployed in Northamptonshire at its lowest since December 2011

July unemployment figures are down compared with the previous month
July unemployment figures are down compared with the previous month
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New figures show the numbers claiming job seeker’s allowance in the county has fallen to its lowest level sine December 2011.

A total of 14,745 people – or 3.3 per cent of the working age population – claimed the benefit in July.

In Corby there were 1,893 claimants with 1,416 in East Northants, 2,098 in Kettering and 2,042 in Wellingborough.

Nationally the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance has fallen to its lowest level for more than four years and employment has reached a record high, but long-term and youth unemployment have increased.

The so-called claimant count fell by 29,200 in July - the ninth consecutive monthly drop - to 1.4 million, the lowest since February 2009.

Total unemployment, including those not eligible for benefit, fell by 4,000 in the quarter to June to 2.5 million.

But youth unemployment, among 16 to 24-year-olds, increased by 15,000 to reach 973,000, while the number of people out of work for more than two years rose by 10,000 to 474,000, the highest since 1997.

Employment Minister Mark Hoban said: “With 29,000 fewer people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance compared to this time last month, and more people in work than ever before, today’s figures paint a positive picture of the UK labour market.

“There are now more jobs available than at any time since the end of 2008, and more hours being worked than ever before - which shows that there are opportunities out there for people who want to work and get on in life.”

Dave Prentis, general secretary of the Unison union, said: “Today’s small drop in unemployment rates masks the damaging growth of under-employment plaguing the country and stifling economic recovery.

“A toxic combination of part-time, minimum wage, zero-hours working is spreading across the country, as decently paid, full-time opportunities become increasingly rare.

“We know that just a few months ago there were, on average, almost four people chasing every vacant job in England, Scotland and Wales. For young people desperate to get their first job, these are desperate times. Getting the work experience they need to get a start in life is hard to find.”