UNEMPLOYMENT in Blackpool has gone up – despite major falls in the number of people out of work across the country.
The Government last night lauded the drop in the number of jobless nationally as the figure fell to its lowest level for more than a year.
In the North West, unemployment over the last three months dropped by 8.1 per cent.
But in Blackpool South it went up by 2.5 per cent. In Blackpool North and Cleveleys there was a rise of 2.04 per cent.
Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said: “In Blackpool, 38 per cent of all jobs are in the public sector.
“The sector is being forced by the Government to make cruel, devastating and savage cuts to their budgets. Unemployment is, unsurprisingly, rising rapidly.
The Government assured us the private sector would ride to the rescue – that might be the case in Surrey and Buckinghamshire, but not up here in the real world. I deeply resent this Tory attack on ordinary workers.”
Nationally unemployment fell by 49,000 to 2.51 million in the three months to September, taking the jobless rate to 7.8 per cent from 7.9 per cent.
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden, said there were now 3,406 people claiming unemployment benefit in his constituency. This equates to 9.2 per cent of the working population.
He added: “It puts us in the top 75 unemployment blackspots in the country. We are 74th.”
Mr Marsden added: “There are 83 more people out of work than this time last year and 86 more than last month.
“The Government clearly is not getting to grips with the problem.
“There has also been a fall off in apprenticeships. There are 3,000 fewer being taken up in the North West and this is because the Government is not getting enough placements with the smaller employers and not listening to businesses’ advice.”
The Office for National Statistics said almost all the 49,000 national fall in the jobless figure was due to a decline in youth unemployment.
The number of people in work increased by 100,000 in the latest quarter to just under 30 million, a rise of more than half a million over the past year.
Unemployment in the North West dropped by 26,000 in the three months to September. The ONS said that a total of 293,000 people were unemployed in the region between July and September.
The region’s unemployment rate was 8.4 per cent and saw a drop of 8.1 per cent during the period.
In the Blackpool North constituency there were 2,496 claimants, up by 51.
In Fylde, the figure was 1,023 up 39, while in Wyre and Preston North the number was 714, down 103.
Conservative Blackpool North MP Paul Maynard said: “I welcome these figures as a sign that the economy is heading in the right direction.
“We now have more people in jobs than ever before and we are also seeing more young people in work.
“I now want to see this trend extend to my constituency, where the figures have been static for a number of months now.
“The national figures continue the recent trend, but we must of course pay heed to a global economy that can knock us off our stride.
“Also, we cannot forget that Labour left us with a massive national debt and a deficit that sapped the economy into recession. What I do find most encouraging though is that these new jobs are both sustainable and are being created in the private sector.”
Other figures from the Office for National Statistics showed part-time employment increased by 49,000 to 8.1 million, close to a record high.
Average earnings increased by 1.8 per cent in the year to August, up by 0.1 per cent on the previous month, giving average weekly pay of £471, including bonuses.