Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

Economy: Suffolk and Essex follow national trend as unemployment reaches a five-year low

12:12 14 May 2014

Employment Minister Esther McVey.

Employment Minister Esther McVey.

Archant © 2013

Unemployment in the UK has reached a five-year low, according to new figures released today, with the number of people in work at a record high.

Total unemployment fell by 133,000 to 2.2million in the three months to March while the number of people in work rose to 30.4m, the highest since records began in 1971.

A major factor behind the change was a sharp increase in self-employment, with the number of people working for themselves rising by 183,000 during the quarter to 4.5m, also a new record high.

The narrower count of people eligible to claim the Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) fell by 25,100 on a seasonally adjusted basis to 1.12m in April − the 18th consecutive monthly fall − and by nearly 54,000 in total to 1.14m.

The number of people out of work for more than a year fell by 32,000 to 813,000 while unemployment among 16- to 24-year-olds was down by 48,000 at 868,000, the lowest figure for five years.

Other data from the Office for National Statistics showed that average earnings increased by 1.7% in the year to March, slightly ahead of the latest CPI inflation rate of 1.6% − the first time this has happened for four years.

Suffolk and north Essex followed the national trend, with falls across the board in local JSA claimant counts.

The biggest declines in Suffolk, in each case cutting the local unemployment rate by 0.2 of a percentage point, were in Ipswich, where the count fell by 195 to 2,856 (a rate of 3.3%), Waveney, down 158 to 2,008 (3.0%), and Babergh, down 87 to 746 (1.4%).

Rates elsewhere in the county fell by 0.1%, including Mid Suffolk, down 89 to 682 (1.2%), Suffolk Coastal, down 47 to 728 (1.0%), Forest Heath, down 41 to 522 (1.3%) smf St Edmundsbury, down 35 to 1,050 (1.5%).

In north and mid Essex, Tendring led the way with the count falling by 247 to 2,662 and the rate by 0.3% to 3.5%, followed by Maldon, where the count was down by 50 at 622 and the rate 0.2% lower at 1.6%.

Elsewhere rates fell by 0.1%, including Braintree, down 61 to 1,718 (a rate of 1.8%), Chelmsford, down 118 to 1,936 (1.8%), Colchester, down 111 to 2,172 (1.9%), and Uttlesford, down 45 to 469 (0.9%).

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The figures continue to demonstrate the flexibility and resilience of the jobs market, which is a source of strength for the economy.

“It is also good news that we are now seeing positive increases in earnings, easing the squeeze on living standards. Although there are still some concerns, with youth and long term unemployment particularly high, the recovery is clearly moving ahead.

“To consolidate the upturn, we need to see rises in productivity, which would make it possible for higher pay rises to be affordable. In addition, we need to see tougher action on youth and long term unemployment.”

Minister for Employment Esther McVey said: “As the recovery takes hold, more people are able to get a job or set up their own business and become the employers of tomorrow.

“Each and every person who has made a new start or hired someone new is helping to make Britain a more prosperous and confident place to be.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “We are starting to see the British economy firing on all cylinders and this means more people are in work today than ever before. We have fewer unemployed young people, falling long-term unemployment and the highest ever female employment rate.”

However, shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves said: “While this fall in overall unemployment is welcome, today’s figures show that young people and the long-term unemployed are being left behind. Under David Cameron over 850,000 young people are unemployed and there are still over 100,000 more people out of work for two years or more than in 2010.”

And Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, said it was a “myth that those taking up self-employment are all budding Richard Bransons”, adding: “Many people are being forced to take up self-employment as the permanent, full-time jobs they are qualified to do are simply not there.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Dean Stansby pictured with his former partner Haley Phair and their son Rocky, five. Picture: Brendan Taylor at Taylor Made Portraits

The heartbroken family of a father-of-five who was killed near Ipswich railway station have paid tribute to him.

Reported stabbing on Virginia Street in Ipswich. Picture: Staff

A man in his early 40s is in hospital tonight after he was stabbed in Ipswich.

Lola, a pet cat from Ipswich who has had her ears cut off. Picture: RSPCA

Police and the RSPCA are urging residents to come forward after a cat was found near her home with both ears cut.

Launch of Suffolk Armed Forces Weekend at Felixstowe - members of the team orgainsing the event gathered on the seafront after a meeting to look at the latest programme for the event being staged on June 24-25

A Suffolk seaside town is to hold a double celebration with a military theme this summer – a two-day spectacle of music, battle re-enactments, food and fireworks for all ages to enjoy.

Elvis Fair leaving Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: Archant

A Suffolk hairdressing salon owner gave hundreds of pounds to an alleged conman she met on a dating website after he offered to help her with her financial affairs, a court has heard.

Peter and Sylvia Stuart. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

Fingerprints taken from a man arrested on suspicion of murdering Weybread couple Peter and Sylvia Stuart were found on a car which had the couple’s DNA in it, it has been alleged.

Sidegate Lane in Ipswich

A teenage boy was knocked over by a car in Ipswich today and suffered a minor head injury.

Baroness Murphy of Aldgate

An East Anglian peer has warned advocates of a second European Union referendum that they are “playing with fire”.

Comic Relief's big red nose spent Tuesday 
February 21 visiting Ipswich. The big red
 nose started his journey at Broke Hall Primary
 School before   taking  in all the sites of the town and
 even got into Portman Road, home of Ipswich Town Football Club.

Adults and youngsters across Ipswich have been showing their support for next month’s Red Nose Day, as Comic Relief’s DJ Boogie made a special visit.

Beacon House, in Ipswich, where the inquest took place.

A 21-year-old woman who collapsed at a mental health hospital in Suffolk died of natural causes, an inquest has ruled.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24