Norwich sees significant fall in number of people searching for work

Chloe Smith at a Norwich For Jobs celebration. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Chloe Smith at a Norwich For Jobs celebration. Photo by Simon Finlay. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Norwich has seen a significant fall in the number of people searching for work.

According to the latest statistics, the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) in the city dropped from 3,737 in September 2013 to 2,267 last month.

Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP, has welcomed the fall, saying: 'These figures are very welcome news. They are not just numbers but real people who are able to take home pay packets. I'm particularly pleased to see the youth unemployment figures continue downwards.''

And Norwich South MP Simon Wright has hailed the fall in his constituency which show the number of JSA claimants fell by 995 last month to 1,460 compared to the 2,415 it was in September 2013.

He said: 'There has been a sustained fall in unemployment in Norwich since 2010, and I'm really pleased that unemployment has almost halved over that time. Despite the biggest recession in 100 years, the economy is making progress and it is encouraging that many people are successfully finding work locally.

'There is still more to be done, but we are going in the right direction. The investment in the A11 dualling and the Greater Norwich City Deal will help to grow even more jobs in the city.'

Meanwhile there was good news too in Great Yarmouth where rising employment levels have sparked a 'sea change' with more people working in the coastal town than in the late 1980s.

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The number of people claiming (JSA) in Yarmouth fell by more than 1,000 last month – with 1,811 claiming in September 2014, compared 2,845 last year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The improving picture was also felt across the region, as unemployment in the East of England dropped by 14,000 in the three months to August, ONS found.

Paul Gisbey, regional operations manager for Job Centre Plus, said the extension of the holiday season, and measures adopted by the local authorities and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, were transforming the community and helping to drive more people into work.

But concerns remained that rising levels of part-time work were causing unemployment to fall, when more full-time work and wage growth was needed.

Mr Gisbey said that more manufacturers were also looking to move into the region, helping to boost employment, while Norwich was benefitting from more small employers looking to expand their workforce.

He added: 'Norwich remains a strong area, with employers telling us that they cannot remember ever seeing it so good in the city. We are working with more employers now and we are finding that small businesses are looking to hire.'

Nationally, unemployment dipped by 154,000 in the quarter to August to 1.97 million, the lowest for eight years.

There was also an 18,600 fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in September to 951,900 - the 23rd consecutive monthly reduction.

Average earnings, including bonuses, increased by 0.7pc in the year to August, up by 0.1 percentage point on the previous month.

• Ms Smith launched the Norwich for Jobs campaign in January last year with the aim of halving the city's jobless count of 18 to 24-year-olds in two years and is proud of the part it has been able to play in improving the situation for young people looking for work.

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