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Wirral figures show further fall in unemployment
THE number of people claiming Jobseekers allowance in Wirral fell again last month.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics released this morning, 8783 people claimed the benefit in May, compared to 9,027 the previous month, meaning a drop of 244.
In Wallasey the number fell from 2987 to 2850; while Wirral South saw a drop of four from 1,216 to 1212.
The number of claimants fell in Wirral West, taking the figure from 1,148 to 970.
However, the number of claimants in Birkenhead rose by 75 to 3751, an increase of 75 on the previous month.
Nationally, the jobless total dropped by 51,000 to 2.61 million in the quarter to April, while the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance in May rose by 8,100 to 1.6 million, ending two months of declines.
Wirral South MP Alison McGovern said: "I welcome the announcement that the number of people on out-of-work benefits in Wirral dropped slightly in May.
"But if you scratch just beneath the surface, you will find a gloomy picture.
"The number of people in Wirral on out-of-work benefits for longer than 12 months grew last month, and is up an astonishing 60 per cent on this time last year.
"This Government needs to take urgent action to tackle this crisis in long term unemployment.
"Its failed economic policies has led to stagnant growth and has caused this emergency.
"It is leaving a scar in our communities, as we know the longer that someone is out of work, the harder it is for them ever to return back to employment.
"The Tories need to recognise that their plan is not working. They need to urgently invest in jobs, and get our economy growing again.”
ONS figures show 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 29.28 million - nearly equally split between full and part-time workers.
The figures show that almost eight million 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 1.4 million.
Self-employment has reached a record figure of 4.17 million, up by 84,000 since the previous quarter.
Other figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of people unemployed for more than a year increased by 85,000 to 886,000. The number of people unemployed for more than two years rose by 29,000 to 434,000.
Youth unemployment has fallen by 29,000 to 1.01 million.
Cllr. Pat Hackett, Wirral Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning Strategy, said: "Wirral's jobless figures have been falling for a number of months now and although there is still much work to do to strengthen our economy the latest figures are extremely encouraging.
"Our current rate of JSA is 4.6%, a return to the May 2011 level.
"This outperforms all Liverpool City Region (LCR) authorities as well as regional and national averages.
"Indeed while all other LCR authorities have seen an increase in the number of JSA claimants Wirral has in fact bucked the trend and seen a decrease in the past year.
"Wirral also has the second lowest JSA rate in the LCR for the crucial 18-24 age group at 10.4% and has seen a monthly decrease of 155 claimants and a reduction in rate of 0.6% points; this outperforms the LCR average, and is double the reduction of regional and national averages.
"Tackling unemployment and growing our local economy are extremely important priorities for Wirral Council and, through our Investment Strategy, we have worked alongside partner agencies, local businesses and local people to bring in a range of measures to help us tackle those priorities.
"These include The Wirral Apprentice Programme and The Wirral ILM which are designed to support the business as well as the individual and have helped almost 500 people into work so that they can gain the valuable skills that a successful economy needs."