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Youth unemployment down by more than a third in 12 months

Published: Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Unemployment figures show that the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in Telford and Wrekin has fallen by more than 37 per cent over the past 12 months.

Unemployment figures show that the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in Telford and Wrekin has fallen by more than 37 per cent over the past 12 months.

The number of JSA claimants in the borough has fallen by 37.4 per cent from 3,325 in November 2013, to 2,080 in November 2014.

In the past month, from October to November 2014, there were 205 less people claiming JSA, a decrease of nine per cent.

The fall of nine per cent in Telford and Wrekin is a faster reduction than seen by the West Midlands (a fall of 6.7 per cent) and England (4.9 per cent).

The number of 16–24 year olds claiming JSA in Telford and Wrekin has fallen even faster, by 38.6 per cent since November 2013 when there were 1,010 claimants in this age band.

In November 2014, 620 16–24 year olds were claiming JSA, a fall of 75 from October, representing a decrease of 10.8 per cent.

Telford & Wrekin Council has committed to reducing unemployment levels in the borough, particularly high levels of youth unemployment, and earlier this year launched the Job Box.

The Job Box was set up to pull together a range of education, training and employment support and its services have helped many local people into employment and many more are now being supported.

The rate of unemployment in the borough, at 1.9 per cent of the working age population, is the same as the England rate and lower than the West Midlands rate of 2.5 per cent. This is the first time that the Telford and Wrekin rate has not exceeded the England rate since August 2008.

Short-term claimants (those claiming for less than six months) now make up a higher proportion of those claiming JSA than they did 12 months ago, up to 59.9 per cent, compared to 54.9 per cent a year ago.

Councillor Shaun Davies, cabinet member for employment and skills, said: “The latest JSA numbers demonstrate the success of our new Job Box services, which are working for local people and getting them into employment or training.

"Such a big reduction in unemployment and particularly youth unemployment in the borough is brilliant news for everyone.

"Last month, a meeting of the Full Council recognised the success of the Job Box campaign to reduce youth unemployment levels in Telford and Wrekin.

"I have written, with partners, to the Employment Minister, Esther McVey, asking for the Government to match our £1.3 million of investment to reduce youth unemployment in the borough.

"I will continue to push to meet with the Minister to discuss how Telford & Wrekin Council is tackling youth unemployment.

"We’re delivering on reducing rates of unemployment and helping local people into work and we want the Government to recognise our commitment.

"We are not asking the government for special treatment but merely to match fund or pay us by results, this is what they do to profit making companies, why not to a council.

"We have a track record on reducing youth unemployment, we want the Government to trust us with tackling long-term unemployment in the borough and pay us for the results of this."