Unemployed in region bucking national trend

UNEMPLOYED people living in West Suffolk and Thetford are bucking the national trend, with fewer claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA), new figures have revealed.

Data published on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics shows that nationally last month almost four per cent of the population claimed JSA, while fewer people, three per cent, claimed it in the East of England.

Figures for St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s population for the same period reveal that just 2.3 per cent claimed the benefit – 1,488 people - the area’s first decline since January, when there were 43 more claimants.

Forest Heath District Council’s area also saw its first drop in claims this year, with 63 fewer claimants, down to 2.1 per cent of its population or 834 people.

A spokeswoman said: “Forest Heath is working hard, with others, to make sure that people have every opportunity to find work. We were proud to support a jobs fair last week and work to encourage new employers to come to district.”

There were more claimants in the Breckland Council area which, last month, remained at 2.8 per cent of its population, or 2,216 people, with young people aged between 18 and 24 having accounted for the highest proportion of claimants.

Last month, 670 young people in Breckland claimed JSA, 7.1 per cent of the area’s young population, compared with 5.9 per cent in the East and seven per cent nationally.