7:24am Thursday 21st June 2012
THERE has been a fall in the number of people chasing a job in the south, figures revealed yesterday.
May’s dole queues added up to 19,669 people – down from 19,916 the previous month.
The figures, which related to the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in each district, came as overall unemployment fell across the country.
Ministers hailed the figures, which also revealed an increase in employment, but said they refused to become over-confident.
Yesterday Employment Minister Chris Grayling told the Daily Echo the increase in employment was “very encouraging”
but said he remained cautious given the uncertainty surrounding the eurozone crisis.
Although most districts recorded a slight drop in the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance from last month, the picture is worse than a year ago – with around 1,000 more people chasing jobs.
In the separate measure of total unemployment, which includes those not chasing jobs, officials said the south-east had a “relatively strong” labour market compared to other parts of the country.
Employment increased by 40,000 compared to the previous quarter, although total unemployment was up by 2,000.
Across the country, the jobless total dropped by 51,000 to 2.61 million in the quarter to April. But the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in May rose by 8,100 to 1.6 million, ending two months of declines.
Mr Grayling also said that the number of private sector jobs was increasing faster than the decline in public sector jobs resulting from spending cuts.
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