Unemployment in Suffolk and north Essex follows national downward trend

The number of people claiming the Jobseeker's Allowance has now fall every month for two years.

The number of people claiming the Jobseeker's Allowance has now fall every month for two years. - Credit: PA

A record number of people are in work in the UK following another significant fall in unemployment, according to official figures released today.

The total number of people out of work fell by 115,000 in the quarter to September to 1.96million while the narrower count of those eligible to claim the Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 20.400 last month to 931,700 in October – the 24th consecutive monthly fall.

Employment increased by 112,000 in the quarter to September to 30.7m, the highest since records began in 1971, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Pay, including bonuses, was 1% higher than a year ago and excluding bonuses went up by 1.3%, the first time the figure has been above CPI inflation for five years.

Around 14.7% of workers, or 4.5m, were self-employed, down by 88,000 on the quarter but up by 279,000 on a year ago, while the number of part-time workers wanting a full-time job remained at around 1.3m.

All parts of Suffolk followed the national downward trend in the claimant count, with the fall in five areas being enough to cut the local unemployment rate fell by 0.1 of a percentage point.

This included Babergh, where the count fell by 44 to 523 (representing a rate of 1.0%), Ipswich, down 92 to 2,128 (2.4%), St Edmundsbury, down 20 to 780 (1.1%), Suffolk Coastal, down 29 to 512 (0.7%), and Waveney, down 28 to 1,347 (2.0%).

Most Read

Smaller falls left the rate unchanged in Forest Heath, down two to 366 (a rate of 0.9%), and Mid Suffolk, down 12 to 585 (1.0%).

In north and mid Essex, the biggest fall came in Colchester where the count fell by 117 to 1,533 and the rate by 0.1% to 1.3%.

Most other districts saw smaller falls leaviing the local rate unchanged, including Braintree, down 45 to 1,272 (a rate of 1.4%), Chelmsford, down 52 to 1,509 (also 1.4%), Tendring, down 13 to 1,953 (2.6%), and Uttlesford, down eight to 332 (0.7%).

The exception was Maldon, where the count nudged up by one to 437 but still left the rate unchanged at 1.2%.

Employment Minister Esther McVey said: “Record numbers of people in work means more people with the security of a regular wage who are better able to support themselves and their families.

“With the vast majority of the rise in employment over the last year being full-time, it’s clear that thanks to the Government’s long-term economic plan, we are helping businesses to create the jobs that people need.

“More young people are getting their foot on the career ladder and we’ve seen record falls in female unemployment, so as the economy continues to grow, more and more people are having their lives transformed by moving into work.”

The Government said there were now more than half a million fewer people unemployed than a year ago with schemes such as the Work Programme contributing to the biggest annual fall in long-term unemployment in 16 years – down by 206,000.

The number of people claiming the Jobseeker’s Allowance is now more than half a million lower than in May 2010 when the coalition government came to power.

However, Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: “Many of the new jobs are precarious and badly paid while the real value of take-home pay for the rest of the workforce is 13% below pre-recession levels.

“Although 898,000 workers have left public sector employment since 2010, the deficit is still £100billion because this increased economic activity is not generating more income from taxes.

“The Tory recipe to get a recovery in pay and income from taxes is even more savage cuts in public spending and public sector jobs.”