UK/East of England: Claimants down, young jobless up, but 6,000 fewer people out of work in region

Unemployment numbers fell in East of England between April and June

Unemployment numbers fell in East of England between April and June - Credit: PA

The unemployment rate in the East of England stood at 6.5% between April and June, with 6,000 fewer people out of work, according to latest figures.

The unemployment rate in the East of England stood at 6.5% between April and June, with 6,000 fewer people out of work, according to the latest official figures.

The figure for the total number of unemployed in the region stood at 203,000. Only the South East and the South West had a lower jobless rate at 6%, but the unemployment rate in London climbed to 8.8%, with 9,000 more people out of work.

The latest snapshot of the number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in the region, taken on July 11, showed that 2.7% of the working age population, or just over 100,500 were signing on. In Suffolk, the proportion was slightly lower at 2.5% of the population, or 11,218 people, and in Essex, it was 2.7%, or 23,514 people.

Across the UK, the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance has fallen to its lowest level for more than four years and employment has reached a record high, but long-term and youth unemployment have increased, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed.


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The so-called claimant count fell by 29,200 in July - the ninth consecutive monthly drop - to 1.4million, the lowest since February 2009.

Total unemployment, including those not eligible for benefit, fell by 4,000 in the quarter to June to 2.5m.

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But youth unemployment, among 16 to 24-year-olds, increased by 15,000 to reach 973,000, while the number of people out of work for more than two years rose by 10,000 to 474,000, the highest since 1997.

Other figures from the ONS showed that average weekly earnings, including bonuses, increased by 2.1% in the year to June, up by 0.3% on the previous month.

It is the first time the rate has gone over 2% since 2011, but ONS said it reflected unusually high bonus payments in April.

The number of people in work increased by 69,000 in the quarter to June to 29.78m, the highest since records began in 1971.

The figure is 301,000 higher than a year ago, giving a rate of 71.5%.

The unemployment rate has remained at 7.8%, as opposed to the 7% figure given by new Bank of England governor Mark Carney as a possible trigger for changes in interest rates.

Meanwhile, the number of people classed as economically inactive, including those looking after a sick relative or who have given up seeking work, fell by 10,000 in the latest quarter to just under nine million, a rate of 22%.

ONS said the number of people aged 16 to 64 in employment has almost recovered to what it was at the start of the recession five years ago, but the employment rate has not recovered as much because of a 673,000 increase in the population of this age group.

The employment rate for men is unchanged at 76% but has increased by 0.1% to 66.7% among women.

Self-employment has jumped by 6,000 to 4.1m and unpaid family workers have risen by 6,000 to 111,000.

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