West Norfolk benefit claimants reach four figures

Jobcentre Plus NNL-150528-110248001
Jobcentre Plus NNL-150528-110248001
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Unemployment benefit claims in West Norfolk have risen for the fourth month in a row, according to new figures published this week.

The number of people who are out of work and claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA), in the borough stood at 1,010 in March, up 25 on the previous month.

It is the first time the figure has been above 1,000 since June of last year.

And, since falling to a record low of 800 in November, the total of JSA claims has risen in every month after.

The picture is similar in neighbouring Breckland, where JSA claims were up 50 to 920 in March.

The figures reflect an overall rise in unemployment nationally, which many experts have blamed on the slowdown in the global economy.

However, the total in North Norfolk was down for the first time since last October, falling by 20 to 565, while the figure in South Holland fell by 30 to 595.

Across East Anglia as a whole, the claimant count was up by 600 in March to just under 44,000.

But the Department for Work and Pensions said the figure had fallen by more than 5,000 in the year to the end of March.

The overall rate of unemployment in West Norfolk, which also includes non-benefit claimants, is estimated to have fallen to just over four per cent, its lowest level for more than a decade.