Jobless figures fall but young still suffer

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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 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.

St Edmundsbury saw the number of claimants drop by 24 to 1,720 in May, down from a 2012 high of 1,774 in March, but still 232 up on May 2011. Its young claimant rate is 0.1 per cent above the regional figure with 490 claiming, which is 20 down on April but 70 more than May 2011.

Forest Heath’s overall figure of 958 is 39 down on April and a rate of only 2.3 per cent but in May 2011 there were only 834 Jobseeker claimants.

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 even lower than Forest Heath’s at 2.1 per cent, its young claimant rate is 6.1 per cent at 375, which is 15 down on April but 65 up on 2011. The district’s overall figure of 1,217 claimants in May is 29 down on April but 167 more than in 2011.