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Employment Minister sees signs for optimism as Wirral jobless figures fall
THE number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in Wirral has fallen for again, according to official monthly figures.
Data released by the Office for National Statistics reveals 6,294 people claimed the benefit across the borough last month, compared to 6,586 in October - a drop of 292.
Nationally, the jobless total fell by 99,000 in the quarter to October, the biggest cut in over a decade, to 2.39m.
Private sector employment reached a record high of 24.4m, and long-term and youth unemployment also fell.
Wirral West MP and Minister for Employment Esther McVey said: “It is really encouraging news that the number of people in jobs has increased by a quarter of a million in the last three months, bringing the total number of people in work to a record-breaking 30m.
“Together with a big fall in unemployment, this shows that the Government's long-term economic plan to get people off benefits and into work is proving successful.
“It's also thanks to British businesses up and down the country who are feeling increasingly confident about taking on workers. This is a great sign that the economy is growing.”
Wirral South MP Alison McGovern said: “We must all welcome any signs of unemployment falling but this does not mean we must be without concerns regarding the latest figures.
“As we draw to the end of 2013, I have had people contact me this year about zero hours, energy prices and the bedroom tax-people with concerns about all these things that are happening under this Tory-led government.
“I will continue to campaign on zero hour contracts as the Government is still not doing enough to tackle them.”
Cllr Pat Hackett, Wirral's cabinet member for the economy, said: "For the ninth consecutive month, Wirral's JSA figures have fallen.
"At 3.2% we have the lowest number of claimants in the Liverpool City Region and our lowest claimant count since June 2008.
"We have also reduced our claimant count by a fifth in the last 12 months with 1,648 people coming off the register.
"We are rightly proud of the steps we've made to build a strong environment for enterprise.
"Our business support team Invest Wirral has been working with businesses as a delivery partner for The Merseyside Business Support Programme to provide specialist advice and support to help remove barriers to growth.
"We have also used Regional Growth Fund money to help a number of companies invest in their businesses with more in the pipeline for 2014.
"Several hundred jobs will be created through these investments and they are an example of how the Council will continue to use our resources to help the private sector grow our economy and get more and more people into work.”
Lynn Collins, North West TUC Regional Secretary, said, “We welcome the fall in unemployment that we’ve seen today but the long-term unemployment figures show that there is a clear need for more to be done in the region.
“Seeing people, who want to get back in to work, spend successive Christmases on the dole is not only demoralising for them but damaging for us too.
“Getting people back in to work and contributing is what we need and want to see.”
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