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Ipswich: Youth unemployment improving as number of jobless in the town falls again

PUBLISHED: 17:42 13 August 2014 | UPDATED: 17:42 13 August 2014

Job Centre Plus

Job Centre Plus

Unemployment in Ipswich has fallen again – which means it’s good news for the rest of the region.

That’s according to Paul Gisbey, operations manager for Job Centre Plus in the East of England.

Unemployment in Suffolk’s county town fell again last month; 2,480 people claimed job seekers’ allowance (JSA) compared to 2,517 in June.

And Mr Gisbey said places between Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds often reflected the trends in the rest of the county, as well as Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

“The A14 corridor is a pretty good litmus test of what’s going on in East Anglia,” he said.

“It’s got access to so many labour markets. That’s been very, very positive over the last 12 months.”

Mr Gisbey added the statistics for unemployed young people in the town were improving.

“The level of youth unemployment a year to 18 months ago, it was about a third of the people claiming JSA,” Mr Gisbey said. “It’s now 20%.

“There are reductions in all age groups but it’s significant in the under 24s. Again, in East Anglia, the trends are good.”

Another positive aspect of the latest figures was they showed people were spending less time on JSA.

Mr Gisbey said: “Three out of ten people leave within four weeks, five out of ten leave after eight weeks. At 13 weeks between 6.5 and 7 out of ten have left.

“People are leaving JSA quicker than they were.”

Overall Mr Gisbey said although unemployment figures were still falling, the drop wasn’t quite as significant as previous months.

He explained this was a seasonal trend with fewer employers recruiting in the summer than in the spring or towards the end of the year.

“It goes in waves and you get a similar wave year on year,” he added. “From quarter to quarter we see very similar patterns emerging.

“Broadly speaking East Anglian trends are similar for the last six, seven, eight months which is a significant reduction in the number of people claiming JSA.

“That’s a 3.7% fall for the people claiming JSA, year on year. We expect that to continue.”

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