East misses out on employment boost

THE number of people out of work in the UK has fallen by nearly 50,000 over the past three months, official figures revealed yesterday, with the decline driven by the biggest quarterly increase in employment for more than 20 years.

THE number of people out of work in the UK has fallen by nearly 50,000 over the past three months, official figures revealed today, with the decline driven by the biggest quarterly increase in employment for more than 20 years.

But the East of England has failed to benefit, with the region being one of five to buck the trend by recording an increase in the overall number of people looking for work during the period.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), total UK unemployment fell by 49,000 in the three months to June to to 2.46million, representing the biggest quarterly decrease for three years.

The figure reflected an increase of 184,000 in the number of people in employment, to 29million, which ranks as the biggest quarterly increase since the three months to May 1989.


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Although the increase was driven by a rise of 115,000 in the number of part-time workers, which took the part-time total to a new record of 7.84million and suggests that many people are still unable to find full-time jobs, the number of those in full-time employment also grew by 68,000 to 21.2million. Yesterday’s data also revealed a sixth successive monthly fall in the narrower count of those eligible for the Jobseeker’s Allowance, which fell by 3,800 to 1.46million in July.

However, this fall was lower than expected by analysts, and the jobless total – by all measures – is expected to resume an upward course as Government spending cuts start to take effect.

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In the East of England, today’s data showed that total unemployment grew by 7,000 in the three months to June, to 203,000.

At local level, the claimant count figures for last month were mixed, with a review of the workforce data on which unemployment rates are based preventing direct month-on-month comparisons with June.

In Suffolk, there were substantial increases in Ipswich, where the count grew by 91 to 3,614 (a rate of 4.3%) and Waveney, up 128 to 2,599 (3.7%).

There were smaller increases in Babergh, up 13 to 1,081 (a rate of 2.1%), Forest Heath, up four to 831 (also 2.1%), Mid Suffolk, up 27 to 1,068 (1.8%) and Suffolk Coastal, up 12 to 1,259 (1.7%), while in St Edmundsbury the count fell by one to 1,455 (2.3%).

In north and mid Essex, there were falls in Colchester, down one to 3,002 (2.5%), Maldon, down 35 to 856 (2.2%), Tendring, down 13 to 3,273 (3.9%) and Uttlesford, down 44 to 772 (1.6%). In Chelmsford the figure was unchanged at 2,545 (2.3%) while in Braintree the count grew by 26 to 2,563 (2.8%).

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