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Jobless total down for fourth month in a row

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 18, 2013

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Unemployment dropped in Devon and Cornwall for the fourth month in a row, official figures have shown.

Some 23,830 people were claiming Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) in the two counties in June – 1,810 fewer than in May.

The spike in the figures may have been driven by the rise in seasonal jobs in tourism and farming in the Westcountry at this time of year. The total, though, is 4,225 lower than a year ago, a boost for the Government which claims the economy has moved from "rescue to recovery".

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly recorded a drop in the claimant count of 715 people, and in Devon county the fall was 600. Plymouth's rate was lower by 300 people and the number of people claiming JSA in Torbay fell by 195.

The wider measure of unemployment – which includes more than just people claiming the benefit – fell by 11,000 in the greater South West to 156,000 in the latest quarter to June. The six-county region has the lowest rate of joblessness in the UK at 5.8%.

Nationwide, long-term unemployment increased to a 17-year high, despite another fall in the JSA rate.

Total unemployment fell by 57,000 in the quarter to May to 2.51 million, the lowest since last autumn, while the claimant count was cut by 21,200 in June to 1.48 million, the best figure for more than two years. Employment Minister Mark Hoban said the figures were "encouraging".

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