Politicians welcome latest fall in West Norfolk unemployment

The Hartlepool Job Centre Plus building. Picture by FRANK REID. IRN PPP-140716-123203001
The Hartlepool Job Centre Plus building. Picture by FRANK REID. IRN PPP-140716-123203001
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Jobless benefit claims in West Norfolk have fallen to a record low, according to new figures released today.

The number of people who are out of work and claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) in the borough stood at 1,149 in April, a drop of 36 on the previous month.

The figure is the lowest recorded since measurements of unemployment benefit claim rates began in 1992.

And the borough’s overall unemployment rate is estimated to have fallen to around 4,000, around 5.4 per cent of the total workforce, which is its lowest level since the spring of 2009.

Re-elected North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said he was “delighted” by the latest figures, which were released this morning.

He said: “It shows that we’re still going in the right direction.

“There’s still some way to go on youth unemployment, but it vindicates the stance I took during the election campaign.”

But Labour’s Jo Rust, who finished second to Mr Bellingham in last week’s poll, gave a more cautious reaction.

She said: “It’s always worth celebrating when it appears people are finding genuine employment, but my concern is and always has been the type of employment.

“We know there are people on insecure contracts and low pay. It needs far more detailed analysis.”