Jobless down but young still bear the brunt

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IN spite of falling jobless figures, Breckland’s number of young Jobseeker allowance claimants is still above the national average.

The number of claimants aged 18-24 in Breckland dropped to 775 in May from 790 in April but the rate of eight per cent is half a per cent above the national rate. It is the fifth month running that Breckland’s young claimants figure has been above the national rate.

Its overall figure of 2,442, down from 2,480 in April, gives a rate of 3.1 per cent, which is 0.8 per cent below the national figure, but is still 226 more claimants than in May 2011.

Across West Suffolk it is a similar story, though most districts have a young jobless rate below the eastern regional rate of 6.5 per cent, though St Edmundsbury’s is 6.6 per cent (490).

Forest Heath’s young claimant rate is the lowest in West Suffolk at four per cent, but while the 255 that represents is down 15 on April it is still 45 more than May last year. Though Mid Suffolk’s overall rate is lower than Forest Heath’s at 2.1 per cent, its young claimant rate is 6.1 per cent at 375.