Jobless figures up on December but down on last year

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Though West Suffolk saw a slight rise in unemployment between December and January, figures are significantly down on a year ago.

Julia Nix, East Anglian district manager for Jobcentre Plus, said as January figures were released today: “It’s a normal seasonal trend that we get every January as seasonal jobs come to an end, but It’s still a big drop year-on-year.”

In St Edmundsbury the numbers claiming Jobseeker allowance rose by 4.9 per cent to 767, up 36, but that was 32 per cent down on January 2014’s 1,134.

Forest Heath’s figure rose 8.3 per cent to 363 over the month, but that was 43 per cent down on 2014. Mid Suffolk’s 547 claimants was 4.3 per cent up on December but 35 per cent down on 2014 and Breckland’s 1,016 was five per cent up on December but 41 per cent down year-on-year.

The four councils saw drops of 42 to 46 per cent in 18-24 year old claimants over the year.

Ms Nix said Jobcentres were working with employers to try to smooth out seasonal changes by moving people straight from, say, summer to winter jobs by laying off later and recruiting earlier.