Unemployment falls in Devon

Latest figures hailed a positive sign for the labour market.

“A positive sign for Devon’s labour market” - words used to describe the latest claimant count across the county, which shows unemployment fell by 2.8 per cent last month.

The number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) went down by 263 claimants between August and September, falling from 9,273 to 9,010.

This is the second consecutive month that the number of people claiming JSA has been lower than at the same time last year.

Although this follows the national trend, the yearly fall of 5.7 per cent in Devon demonstrates a faster reduction than the UK average of 1.6 per cent.

Youth unemployment has also fallen very slightly, from 2,745 in August to 2,700 in September - representing a 1.6 per cent monthly decrease. This reflects the national picture, but again the fall in Devon is greater than the UK average (1.6 per cent compared to 1.1 per cent for the UK).

Councillor Will Mumford, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for economy, enterprise and employment, said: “The latest figures are a positive sign for Devon’s labour market.

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“A 2.8 per cent fall in people claiming JSA signals a turn in the right direction, especially compared with last year’s figures when there was a 1.6 per cent increase between August and September, and given that the effects of seasonal employment usually start to filter out of the figures during this period.

“It’s also encouraging that youth unemployment is continuing to fall, although we have to remain aware of the backdrop of seasonal work and the start of education and training courses.

““More recent national indicators suggest slight signs of improvement which provides hope that the national economy could pull itself out of recession in quarter three and will help to provide greater confidence for local businesses for the months ahead.”