The number of people claiming jobseekers’ allowance fell in the last quarter in Norfolk, Waveney and Fenland according to the latest unemployment figures, but has increased year on year.

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It reflected a national picture which saw the jobless total fall by 65,000 to 2.58m in the quarter to May, but saw the numbers claiming jobseeker’s allowance jump by 6,100 last month to 1.6m, including an increase of 8,000 among women to 530,700, the highest figure for 17 years.

The biggest quarterly fall was in Great Yarmouth, where the figures fell 17pc, but its council area saw the biggest year on year increase in the claimant count of 16.8pc.

The total claimant count for Norfolk, Waveney and Fenland fell 9.6pc in the quarter to 22,402. But the year on year increase was 5.4pc.

The Office for National Statistics said the national increase among women was likely to have been affected by a change in eligibility rules for lone parent income support from May.

Long-term unemployment has also increased, with those out of work for more than two years up by 18,000 to 441,000, the worst figure since 1997.

The number jobless for more than a year rose by 3,000 to 885,000, while there were just over a million unemployed 16- to 24-year-olds, down 10,000 on the three months to February.

Nationally most age groups showed increases in employment, with a rise of 52,000 in over-65s in work to reach 929,000, the highest since records began in 1992.

The unemployment rate is now 8.1pc, down by 0.2 percentage points, although the jobless total is 132,000 higher than a year ago.

Other figures showed that those classed as economically inactive, including people looking after a relative, on early retirement or who have given up looking for work, fell by 61,000 to 9.2 million, mainly due to a cut of 82,000 among students.

The biggest falls in unemployment, and increase in work, was in London, suggesting that the Olympic Games is having an impact on the figures. The number of vacancies increased by 10,000 in the quarter to June to 471,000.

Average earnings increased by 1.5pc in the year to May, up by 0.1 percentage points on the previous month, giving an average weekly wage of £468.

Employment minister Chris Grayling yesterday visited a new delivery office opened in London by TNT, which said it planned to create 20,000 new jobs across the UK in the next five years.

annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk

1 comment

  • The government is complacent to celebrate these figures which proves it's just seasonal and that the job market is no better than 2009.

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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