Latest figures record drop in job seekers

Job Centre Plus. Picture by FRANK REID

Job Centre Plus. Picture by FRANK REID

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The latest figures show 2,842 fewer people in Kirklees are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) than this time last year.

But 373 more people are on the benefit compared to two months ago.

Kirklees employment and partnerships manager Ann Sykes said a monthly increase was expected at this time of year because of seasonal jobs available in December.

“There’s been a very small increase in the number of people claiming JSA,” she said.

“The national figure of 73.2 per cent is the highest we’ve seen for a considerable level of time.”

The number of JSA claimants in our district is now 7,283 – a 28.1 per cent drop from a year ago.

There has been a 33 per cent decrease for the 18-24 age group, with 900 fewer young people claiming than in February 2014.

Ann said that the small and medium-sized businesses typical in Kirklees were beginning to take on more staff.

The bulk of these are in retail, care and hospitality.

But she added: “In North Kirklees, a lot of our customers can access the labour market in Leeds because the transport links are so good.”

Ann said records were not kept of the number of people who have stopped claiming because of sanctions. She estimates two-thirds of those no longer on JSA had found jobs and the rest had gone into retirement or started claiming a different sort of benefit.