Slight local rise in jobless as UK fall continues

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Though national unemployment figures dropped again in February, St Edmundsbury and Breckland saw slight increases in the number of Jobseeker Allowance claimants.

Figures published today saw St Edmundsbury saw claimants rise from January by 21 to 788 in February, with 15 of those being 18 to 24 year olds. However, that was still a 30 per cent drop over February 2014.

Breckland’s figure for all JSA claimants rose from January by five to 1,021 but that was 43 per cent down on 2014. The district’s 18 to 24 claimants rose by 15 to 270.

Forest Heath’s claimant figure was the same as in January at 363, but the number of 18 to year olds claiming dropped by five to 80.

Mid Suffolk dropped from 547 to 539 in February with 10 fewer 18 to 24 year olds claiming.

Julia Nix, Jobcentre district manager for East Anglia, said she thought the rise in St Edmundsbury and Breckland was down to seasonal variations in retail and agriculture. She added: “I would be surprised if it goes up again next month as people start recruiting again.”

She said the region reflected trends seen nationally with record private sector employment and record vacancies.

She said that while East Anglia has more self-employed people than most regions, it did not buck the national trend where 98 per cent of the annual rise in employment was as employees.