Unemployment falls across the region

Unemployment has fallen across the region with a record number in employment across the country. Pic

Unemployment has fallen across the region with a record number in employment across the country. Picture: Philip Toscano/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Our region has the lowest unemployment rate across the country after seeing the number without work fall to 112,000 - a rate of just 3.5%.

The East of England also has one of the highest employment rates with 77.9% in work.

Stephen Lankester, senior operations leader in East Anglia for the Department of Work and Pensions, said: 'I think we are a little bit ahead of the picture nationally, which is pretty good.

'We are seeing an upward track in employment rates.

'A lot of people are recruiting at this time.

'There is a feeling of a vibrant Job Centre at the moment.'

Great Yarmouth has seen a large month on month drop in unemployment, down by 277 to 1,195 which Mr Lankester said was likely to be down to seasonal work.

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He said: 'Seasonal work is starting to kick in, people do start to recruit a little earlier these days to build up to it.

'It is also down year on year which shows that the economy is not just seasonal.'

While Yarmouth has seen a significant change with the summer North Norfolk has only seen a steady reduction of 8% but is 36.1% down year on year, although Mr Lankester pointed to a smaller population leading to a large percentage.

Norwich has seen a steady reduction in unemployment over the past year and this trend has continued with 1,315 unemployed, a reduction of 81.

Compared to this time last year it is a reduction of 26%.

Mr Lankester said: 'We have seen big recruitment among small and medium employers.

'While 26% looks like a large number it has come in little increments of five or six per cent each month so it has not been as dramatic as it might look.'

Nationally employment has hit a record high, at 74.4%, with unemployment dropping below 5% for the first time since 2005.

While the latest statistics, from June, are too early to show any change from the Brexit vote Mr Lankester said he did not think there would be an immediate pattern emerge.

Employment Minister Damian Hinds said: 'There's good news in the East of England where there's a record number of people in work and the employment rate is 77.9% - one of the highest rates for any UK region.

'Clearly, good progress has been made, and I'm encouraged to take forward the agenda to create an even more resilient labour market.'

North Norwich MP Chloe Smith, who runs the Norwich for Jobs project, welcomed the news.

She said: 'Both locally and nationally these figures are very encouraging. Nationally the Government is building and delivering a Britain that works for everyone, not just the privileged few; a sentiment that the Norwich For Jobs project holds at its core.'

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