Disappointment as jobless total grows

UNEMPLOYMENT across Suffolk and north Essex increased last month, according to official figures released today.

The biggest increase Suffolk was in the Mid Suffolk district where the number of people claiming the Jobseeker’s Allowance rose by 94 compard with June to 1,160 and the local unemployment rate (those claiming benefit as a percentage of the total workforce) by 0.2 of a percentage point to 2.0%.

Unemployment rates increased by 0.1% in Babergh, where the count grew by 51 to 1,163 (representing a rate of 2.3%), St Edmundsbury, up 80 to 1,524 (also 2.3%), and Waveney, up 26 to 2,849 (4.1%).

Relatively smaller increases left the rates unchanged in Ipswich, up 84 to 4,048 (4.8%), Forest Heath, up 51 to 843 (2.0%), and Suffolk Coastal, up 51 to 1,365 (1.8%).

In north and mid Essex, the biggest increases were in Colchester, where the count grew by 146 to 3,261 and the rate by 0.1% to 2.7%, and Tendring, where the total rose by 135 to 3,484 and the rate also by 0.1% to 4.1%.

Smaller increases left rates unchanged in Braintree, up 72 to 2,588 ( rate of 2.8%), Chelmsford, also up 72 to 2,887 (2.6%), Maldon, up one to 847 (2.1%), and Uttlesford, up 28 to 818 (1.7%).

Nationally, the claimant count grew by 37,100 to 1.564million, representing an unemployment rate of 4.9%, up 0.1% compared with June.

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Total unemployment, including those eligible for benefit, grew by 38,000 in the three months to June to 2.494million, compared with economists’ expectations of a fall of around 10,000.

However, the number of people in employment grew by 25,000 during the same period to 29.265 million, with the increase in both figures explained by a decrease in the number of people classed as “economically inactive”, such as those in full-time education.

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