Fylde coast unemployment eases down

Unemployment has dropped fracitionally
Unemployment has dropped fracitionally
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Unemployment has fallen to a seven-year low while a record number of people are in work, new figures have shown.

The jobless total dipped by 79,000 to 1.7 million in the quarter to August, the lowest figure since the summer of 2008, giving a jobless rate of 5.4 per cent.

Employment increased by 140,000 in the same three months to 31 million, the highest since records began in 1971.

Locally the number of people claiming benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance and Universal Credit fell fractionally on the same period last year.

In Blackpool North and Cleveleys 1,489 people were claiming, down from 1,551 equivalent to three per cent of the population.

In Blackpool South there were 1,992 claimants, down from 1,995, or 3.9 per cent. In Fylde there were 657, down from 671, in Lancaster and Fleetwood, 910, down from 911, in Wyre and Preston North 424 down from 470 and in Preston 1,984 up from 1,679 in the same period last year.

Julia Loddington, from Blackpool and Fylde Jobcentre Plus, said that the seasonality of the type of jobs a seaside resort like Blackpool has did not have as marked effect as it did in decades gone by.

She said: “We have always had to be aware of the seasonality of employment .

“It used to be that when the Illuminations ended there would be a huge rise in unemployment, but now that is being offset more by work in retail.

“There are much more retail opportunities in town than there used to be and we are now looking toward the recruitment for the Christmas period.

“Also there are a number of new food establishments in the area with whom we have been working closely to offer training opportunities. We are working with a local training provider UR Potential doing a generic training package to support Christmas recruitment in retail. We are looking at the type of skills they will need to demonstrate and the skills employers are looking for.”

She said Jobcentres were working much more proactively with their clients and making more use of internet technology. She said they were also targeting the care sector which has a large presence on the Fylde to develop skills and to demonstrate the possible career progression available.