West Norfolk jobless benefit claims hit 10-year low

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Unemployment benefit claims in West Norfolk have fallen to their lowest level for 10 years, according to new figures released this week.

The number of people who are out of work and claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in the borough stood at 1,368 in September, a fall of 98 on the figure for August.

And the total number of claims, which has fallen by almost 1,000 since March, is now lower than at any time since September 2004.

The overall level of unemployment, which also covers non-JSA claimants, has fallen to just over 4,000, equating to 6.2 per cent of the workforce, the lowest since 2009.

In Breckland, the number of JSA claims fell by 73 in September to 1,111, the lowest figure since December 2004.

And 666 people in North Norfolk are claiming the benefit, the lowest since current records began in 1992. The figure in South Holland, 829, is lower than at any point since 2006.

Officials have also recorded the biggest annual drop in the national unemployment rate since the 1970s.

Ministers say the falls reflect the success of their economic plan, though opposition politicians say wages are still not keeping up with inflation.