District’s falling benefit claimant figure welcomed

Job Centre file image. Photo credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Job Centre file image. Photo credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The proportion of people living in east Suffolk who claim Jobseeker’s Allowance is among the lowest in the country, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics’ most recent labour market data shows that just 0.7% of the Suffolk Coastal population is classified as a JSA claimant. The percentage, which is down 0.5% on last year’s figure, is the lowest of all local authorities in Suffolk and Essex and well below the national average of 2.1%.

Suffolk Coastal District Council, which has its Local Plan and East Suffolk Growth Plan to encourage growth and attract businesses to the area, has welcomed the figures.

The council’s deputy leader, Andy Smith, who is responsible for economic development, said it was “good news for this area”.

“Suffolk Coastal is a great place to live, work and visit and our role as the local council is to ensure that everything is in place to nurture the economic recovery, creating more jobs for local people,” he added.

Julia Nix, district manager for the Job Centre Plus in East Anglia, said the reduction was down to “partnership working”.

“We’ve been working really hard with the local authorities, we’ve all come together to really think how we can make a better impact to help our customers find employment,” she added.

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Nationally, the employment figures are the highest recorded, with 30.8million people in work.

The number of working age people claiming the main out-of-work benefits is also the lowest in a generation, the government said.

The JSA rate for Suffolk as a whole is 1.4% and in Essex it is 1.5%.