Quarterly figures reveal slight drop in job seeker numbers for Norwich, South Norfolk, North Norfolk, Waveney and Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 11:21 17 October 2012 | UPDATED: 11:59 17 October 2012


New employment figures have revealed that the number of people in work in the United Kingdom has reached a record high - with quarterly figures for Jobseeker’s Allowance in the east of England also offering positive news.

Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants


- Breckland 2,274 (up 25, +1pc)

- Broadland 1,384 (down 1, -0.1pc )

- Fenland 2,139 (up 29, +3.2pc)

- Great Yarmouth 3,312 (down 51, -1.5pc)

- King’s Lynn & W Norf 2,721 (up 25, +0.1pc)

- North Norfolk 1,366 (down 94, -6.4pc)

- Norwich 4,383 (down 85, -1.9pc)

- South Norfolk 1,495 (down 35, -2.3pc)

- Waveney 2,932 (down 81, -2.7pc)

- TOTAL 22,006 (-396, -1.7pc)

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics show that employment grew in the quarter to August by 212,000 to 29.59 million, the highest since records began in 1971, although more are in part-time jobs than ever.

Unemployment fell by 50,000 in the same period to 2.53m, the lowest since the spring, giving a jobless rate of 7.9pc.

The numbers claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 4,000 in September to 1.57m, the third consecutive monthly fall and the lowest total since July 2011.

Overall the official figure for unemployment in the East of England region has held steady at 206,000, a percentage of 6.6pc.

Across Norfolk, Fenland and Waveney the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the last quarter dropped 396 from 22,402 to 22,006, but year on year there was a slight rise of 86, up from 21,920.

South Norfolk saw the biggest drop, down 35 (2.3pc) in the quarter and 86 (5.4pc) in the year to a total of 1,495, while there is similar positive news in North Norfolk, which is down 94 (6.4pc) in the quarter and 14 (1pc) in the year to 1,366.

Norwich is down 85 (1.9pc) in the quarter and 74 (1.6pc) in the year to 4,383, Waveney is down 81 (2.7pc) in the quarter to 2,932 and Great Yarmouth is down 51 (1.5pc) in the quarter to 3,312, although that is up 156 (4.9pc) year-on-year.

In the other districts, Broadland is down just one in the quarter and 35 (2.4pc) for the year, to 1,384, but Breckland is up 25 (1pc) in the quarter and 69 (3pc) in the year to 2,274 and Fenland is up 29 (3.2pc) in the quarter and 18 (0.8pc) in the year to 2,139.

While King’s Lynn and West Norfolk was down three in the quarter but up 25 (0.9pc) year-on-year, to 2,721.

Minister for employment, Mark Hoban, said: “It’s a real landmark to see more people in work than ever before. Despite the tough economic times, the private sector continues to create jobs and our welfare reforms are encouraging people to return to work - with 170,000 fewer people on the main out-of-work benefits than in May 2010.

“The big fall in youth unemployment is particularly welcome, but we know this remains a challenge, which is why we have the £1bn Youth Contract offering nearly 500,000 work experience places, apprenticeships and wage incentives to help young people get a job.”

Nationally, part-time employment increased by 125,000 between March and May to a record high of 8.13m and the number of people in part-time jobs because they could not find full-time work was close to a record high at 1.4m.

Youth unemployment fell by 62,000 to 957,000, the lowest figure for over a year.

Self-employment has also increased, up by 35,000 to 4.2m, while the number of unpaid workers in a family business rose by 2,000 to 112,000.

The data also showed a rise of 13,000 in the number of people on government-supported training and employment programmes to 158,000.

Economic inactivity, including those looking after a sick relative or who have given up looking for work, fell by 138,000 in the latest quarter to just over 9m.

Average earnings increased by 1.7pc in the year to July, 0.1pc up on the previous month, giving an average weekly wage of £473.

Unite leader Len McCluskey said: “Hidden behind the statistics is the stubborn underlying problem of the long-term unemployed, whether it is the 16- to 24-year-olds or other groups seeking work. It is those areas that ministers need to concentrate on as a matter of urgency.

“The economy overall is flatlining, household incomes are being squeezed and demand has been sucked out of the economy.

“The UK is still in recession, so there is nothing for the government to crow about.”

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