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Wirral unemployment figures fall
THE number of people claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance in Wirral fell again last month, according to new figures.
The Office for National Statistics reports 8,380 Wirral people claimed the benefit in September compared to 8,524 the previous month - a drop of 144.
The number of claimants in Birkenhead fell by 79 to 3,427; Wirral South saw a drop of 15 to 1,126; in Wallasey the figure was reduced by 25 to 2,741, but claimants increased by 26 in Wirral West to 1,126 It is the second month in a row the figures have decreased locally.
Councillor Pat Hackett, Wirral Council cabinet member for regeneration and housing strategy, said: "Our Jobseekers rate continues to be the lowest in the Liverpool City Region at 4.4%, with a monthly decrease of 130 claimants, and an annual reduction of 0.5%, which means we are comfortably outperforming the average for England.
"In the last year we have seen 885 people moving off Jobseekers, which is good news in what are extremely difficult economic times.
Wirral South Labour MP Alison McGovern said: "We see again a small drop in the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits, which is to be welcomed.
"But here in Wirral the number of people on Job Seekers Allowance over 12 months has risen yet again, and we have also seen a rise in the number of young people on JSA.
"This is a major concern as it seems to indicate that the Government simply does not care if people are left on the dole.
"There is no indication that the Government has noticed that its programme to get the long term unemployed into work is not working.
"And the increase in the number of young people on unemployment benefits is particularly disturbing as we know that the longer people are out of work in their youth, the bigger the impact it has on their future prosperity.
"But it seems the government thinks that youth unemployment is a price worth paying for cuts that go too far, too fast."
Birkenhead Labour MP Frank Field added: "A fall in unemployment is always good. But we have too few jobs in Birkenhead for those who are looking for work.
"The Government urgently needs to start where Labour left off with its Future Jobs Fund, which has built a whole programme of serious, worthwhile job opportunities for people without work."
Nationally, the number of people in work has reached a record high, although more are in part-time jobs than ever.
Employment grew in the quarter to August by 212,000 to 29.59m, the highest since records began in 1971.
Youth unemployment fell by 62,000 to 957,000, the lowest figure for more than a year.