UTTOXETER’S MP has welcomed the latest job figures after it was revealed that the level of unemployment across East Staffordshire has fallen in the last month.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in Uttoxeter dropped from 1,291 in March to 1,243 in April – a fall of 48.
Across the UK, unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in five years.
MP Andrew Griffiths told the Post and Times that the figures were a positive sign of things to come for the area.
He said: “I think that it is a really encouraging set of figures, particularly in the young people category and long term unemployed, as they jobless figures are down.
“I think that we can be certain now we have overcome the seasonal blip we saw after Christmas and all indicators show a strong growth and increasing employment with more to come in the Uttoxeter area and East Staffordshire.”
Figures nationally found for the three months to March 2014, the unemployment rate was 6.8 per cent, down 7.2 per cent in the previous quarter.
In the same three months, unemployment was 133,000 lower than in the previous quarter, while employment was 283,000 higher and the youth unemployment rate was 19 per cent.
This was down 1.0 per cent from the previous quarter.
The claimant count fell 25,100 between March and April 2014 and in the first quarter of 2014, total pay including bonuses was 1.7 per cent higher than a year earlier, while pay excluding bonuses was 1.3 per cent higher.
Chris Plant, director of the Burton and District Chamber of Commerce, which covers Uttoxeter, also welcomed the latest results.
He said: “The UK labour market is continuing to strengthen, with unemployment falling and employment rising.
“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.
“While the improvement does not justify immediate action on interest rates, we expect the MPC to provide greater clarity in this area.”