Norfolk jobless total is cut again

Unemployment in Norfolk fell again last month as the number of people in work across the UK reached a record level, new figures showed yesterday.

Unemployment in Norfolk fell again last month as the number of people in work across the UK reached a record high, new figures showed yesterday.

There was a fall of 139 people claiming unemployment-related benefits in the county, bringing the total to 9185. East Anglia's figure decreased by 229 to 58,389.

The employment level nationally reached 27.9 million in the three months to June, the highest since records began in 1984, after an increase of 63,000 in the number of people in work over the quarter.

UK unemployment fell by 42,000 over the same period to 1,458,000, a rate of 5pc - the lowest for two years - according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. The unemployment rate in Norfolk is now 2pc and as low as 1.1pc in Broadland and South Norfolk, although Yarmouth (3.7pc) and Norwich (3.4pc) have the highest numbers of people out of work.

District figures for last month are: Breckland 943 (+6), Broadland 750 (-23), Yarmouth 1968 (-25), King's Lynn and West Norfolk 1343 (-37), North Norfolk 840 (+5), Norwich 2612 (-48) and South Norfolk 729 (-17).

Suffolk's figure fell by one to 7877 although Waveney saw an increase of 72 to 1870. Fenland was down 21 at 827 but Cambridgeshire rose by 32 to 4693.

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The Norwich figure has yet to reflect the recent announcement that 300 Norwich Union Insurance jobs are to be lost in the city. By the end of this month, all staff involved will have been told whether they will be made redundant, kept or moved.

The West Norfolk figure looks set to rise later this year with the proposed October closure of the Berol factory at King's Lynn and the loss of 230 jobs.

Rob Hetherington, Norfolk district manager for Jobcentre Plus, said he felt "pretty positive" that most people in both cases would find other jobs locally.

He said recruitment was ongoing for 100 administrative posts for the Pensions Service, in Norwich, and various vacancies for the city's big W store.

Mr Hetherington was pleased that Norfolk had recorded a good set of figures for July and was outperforming the rest of the East of England.

He added that current very low levels of unemployment would continue to make recruitment difficult, and Jobcentre Plus was talking to employers to make jobs more accessible and attractive to people who were not working but claiming other benefits, such as lone parents and those on incapacity benefit.