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Ipswich: Jobless figure falls by almost a third over last year

PUBLISHED: 17:05 16 July 2014 | UPDATED: 17:05 16 July 2014

Ben Gummer

Ben Gummer

Archant

The number of people in Ipswich claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance has fallen by more than 30% over the last year.

Within the borough the number of people claiming the benefit fell by 1,099 to 2,517 – or 2.9% of the population – between June last year and last month.

That mirrors the fall in Suffolk where the number claiming the benefit fell by 4,334 to 7,243.

The claimant rate does not record everyone looking for a job – but the figures show that the estimated unemployment rate has fallen significantly and the number of people in work has reached its highest figure since the recession struck.

The number of young people without a job has also fallen significantly for the first time since the recession hit – and levels are now down to those when the current government came to power.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer was delighted about the figures, and said they proved the government’s economic policy was working.

He said: “It is great that we are getting unemployment levels down and that more people are finding jobs. There is still a long way to go – I would like to get to zero unemployment but the lower you get the more difficult it is to get the numbers down.”

Mr Gummer rejected claims that many of the jobs were part-time or low paid.

He said: “That simply is not the fact. The statistics show that 83% of jobs created since 2010 have been full-time, the kind of jobs people want.”

Ipswich Labour candidate David Ellesmere welcomed the fall – but warned families were still struggling.

He said: “Any fall in unemployment is welcome but figures released at the same time show the reality of the cost of living crisis.

“Wage increases are at their lowest level since records began in 2001 and inflation has increased.

“This is why more and more people are struggling just to get by, why food bank use is rocketing and why the Government is now spending more on benefits for people in low paid work than for those who are unemployed.

“The Government seems unable or unwilling to even acknowledge this is a problem.”

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