Increasing business confidence is fuelling a drop in unemployment, particularly among the young, the boss of East Anglia’s Jobcentres says.
Figures released today showed UK unemployment dropped 455,000 year-on year, to six per cent.
Julia Nix, district manager for 26 Jobcentres in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, said the improving economy was making employers feel confident enough to take on new staff and train young people.
“We weren’t replacing an aging workforce,” she said. “We were getting worried about that.”
But the latest figures show the biggest improvement in 18 to 24 year olds. In St Edmundsbury the 145 still taking Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA)is 50.8 per cent down on November 2013 while the overall figure is down 36.9 per cent to 735. In Forest Heath there are only 75 18-24s on JSA, which is 57 per cent below last year, while the overall figure has dropped 44 per cent to 350.
Mid Suffolk saw 18-24s down 36 per cent to 140 with the overall figure down by a quarter to 585.
Breckland has 44.8 per cent fewer 18-24 on JSA at 265 with the overall figure down 41 per cent to 985.
Ms Nix said: “It’s everybody working together on youth unemployment – the colleges, schools, employers have all focussed on that.
“The work experience employers have offered has been enormous in the last year. If they haven’t got a job, they’ve given them six to eight weeks experience, which helps a lot.”
She added that she believes January could see a boost in employment as companies look back at business in 2014 and see how well they have done.