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No change in unemployment figures

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 13, 2012

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The Westcountry's dole queue has flat-lined as the economy continues to struggle.

Some 27,745 adults in Devon and Cornwall last month claimed unemployment benefit – just 65 fewer than in July. It was the sixth month in a row the so-called claimant count has fallen in the two counties.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the national jobless total fell by 7,000 to 2.59 million in the quarter to July – an unemployment rate of 8.1% – after a big jump in the number of people in work, with London one of the biggest gainers after hosting the Olympic Games. The wider rate of unemployment – as opposed to just those claiming Jobseekers' Allowance – is not broken down to county level. But the measure for the greater South West indicates an improving picture.

In the same period, 9,000 fewer people were out of work, representing a 0.4% decrease, meaning 153,000 people were unemployed. The unemployment rate is 5.7% – the lowest in the UK.

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Most encouraging was the increase in employment, with 44,000 more people in work. The percentage bounce – 1.4% – was even bigger than Olympic-fuelled London. The South West held sailing events, but the number of jobs created in Weymouth was nowhere close to those in the capital.

New Employment Minister Mark Hoban told the Western Morning News: "There are good signs there – an extra 44,000 people in work. There are challenges in different areas in the South West. One of the things we want to do is ensure the people running the [back to] Work Programme work hard to tackle those most localised challenges."

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  • MadSolutions  |  September 13 2012, 9:01PM

    Don't believe the figures, it's all smoke and mirrors unfortunately, massaged by the government to make things look good. Any drops are a combination of seasonal jobs (definitely better than nothing) and people signing off and going self employed. There's a big but though, many of the self employed don't have enough work to generate a proper income and many are really just unemployed and uncounted. The Job Centre will pressure the unemployed to apply for everything and anything, which is fine, but if you're say an Accountant of maybe 15 years do they really believe that say Asda will employ them to stack shelves? The reality is no they won't because Asda know damn well that as soon as an Accountants job comes up they'll be applying for it and may well be off. The wifes sister works for Ladbrokes and gets applications for minimum wage counter jobs from all sorts of professionals, but never interviews any of them for this very reason. It's easy for the employed to call the unemployed a load of wasters that don't want to work, but the simple reality is that the majority do want to work, but sadly there are few opportunities in the South West and the soft salaries are a reflection of how easy it is for companies to find staff.

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