West Norfolk unemployment rate falls despite county and national increases

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Unemployment figures in West Norfolk have fallen to their lowest levels in six years, despite a national rise in jobless totals, according to new figures.

Around 3,700 people were estimated to be out of work in the borough during the 12 months to the end of March, down 300 on the previous quarter.

But the borough’s total remains above the regional average as a percentage of its workforce at 5.3 per cent, compared to the East Anglian average of 4.9 per cent.

However, the figure, which is now at its lowest level since 2009, bucked the national trend shown in the latest statistics, which were released on Wednesday.

They showed the first rise in unemployment levels for almost two years, with around 1.95 million people now out of work.

Economists say the increase showed the country’s economic recovery remained fragile, while opposition politicians said the rise was “extremely concerning”.

But the government said that there were still many thousands of available jobs at a time of continuing growth and increasing wages.

Meanwhile, the number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) in West Norfolk fell by 40 in June to a new record low of 1,025.

Falls in the overall jobless rate have also been recorded in Breckland and North Norfolk.

But the rate for the county as a whole increased by 1,500 over the same period to 21,800, equating to just over five per cent of the total workforce.