Fall in number of jobseekers after bad start

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Claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance on the Fylde coast went up at the beginning of 2014 - but the figure has dropped compared to 12 months ago.

Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde all saw a slight increase in the number of people claiming the benefit in the first month of 2014.

Figures provided by the Office of National Statistics show the resort has 5,093 people on Jobseeker’s Allowance, compared to 6,226 12 months earlier and 4,919 in December 2013.

Gordon Marsden, MP for Blackpool South, said: “What these figures show is that economic recovery is not secure and certainly not in Blackpool.

“If you look at the figures in detail the youth unemployment figures are worrying and they look stuck.

“They also don’t show the number of part time workers or those working two jobs.

“The programmes the Government has put into place for unemployment is very expensive but they need to put more attention into traineeships, which they haven’t addressed or funded properly.”

The amount of claimants in Fylde rose from 960 in December 2013 to 987 last month, however, this was a marked improvement on the same time last year when 1,051 people were on Jobseeker’s allowance.

A similar picture exists in Wyre as 1,377 claim the out-of-work payment now compared to 1,318 in December 2013 and 1,725 in January of the same year.

Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, said: “The fall in unemployment nationwide of 125,000 over the last quarter is clearly welcome, as is the fall of 500 on this time last year in the constituency, with a small blip upwards over the last month.

“Of course, the raw figures aren’t everything, and we need local councils to collaborate more closely on economic development to attract investment and create the skilled, sustainable jobs that will encourage our young people to make their lives on the Fylde Coast.”

Unemployment across the north west fell by 8.1 per cent over the last quarter.

Employment Minister Esther McVey said: “With the North West seeing it’s unemployment rate fall to 8.1% this quarter - the same as London - it’s clear that the Government’s long-term plan to build a stronger, more secure economy is helping businesses create jobs and get people into work.

“Nationally, employment continues to increase and youth unemployment continues to fall, which means more people have the security of a regular wage and can plan for their future.”

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