Unemployment falls across Norfolk, Fenland and Waveney - with biggest drops in Great Yarmouth and Norwich

A group of men wait outside Chatham Job Centre Plus in Kent. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive

A group of men wait outside Chatham Job Centre Plus in Kent. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Archive - Credit: PA

Unemployment fell in every district across Norfolk, Fenland and Waveney in April, official figures show.

The steepest drops came in Great Yarmouth, which saw a 12% drop in the number of people claiming Job Seeker's Allowance, from 1,946 to 1,703, and in Norwich, where the figure fell 6% from 1,505 to 1,420.

Stephen Lankester, JobCentre Plus district operations leader, said: 'We have seen big recruitment over the past year in Norwich, with Aviva taking on staff, and a lot of vacancies from the hotel and catering areas.'

He attributed the fall in Great Yarmouth to a recruitment drive for the summer tourist season.

In the quarterly figures for January to March, unemployment in the East of England fell by 6,000 to 118,000, giving an employment rate of 77.4% – the highest regional figure after the South East.

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Nationally, unemployment fell 2,000 to 1.69m, leading to fears the job market is 'cooling off'.

David Freeman, a senior statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said: 'The employment rate has hit another record high, but this time the increase is quite modest.

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'With unemployment very little changed, that is further evidence the jobs market could be cooling off.'

Average earnings increased by 2% in the year to March, up by 0.1% on the previous month.

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