Joblessness down to ‘pre-recession levels’


Henry Smith MP said unemployment in Crawley has fallen to pre-recession levels.

Office for National Statistics figures showed unemployment in the last financial year equalled unemployment during the year starting July 2008.

The statistics showed there were 3,700 unemployed economically active people in town in the last financial year.

The last time the total was below 3,700 was from July 2008 to June 2009 (3,300).

The unemployment figures fell by 1,000 to the latest figure in nine months from its peak of 4,700 from July 2012 to June 2013.

Mr Smith said: “The unemployment statistics are positive for our town and demonstrate the resilience of our local economy, the determination of local business and above all the get-up-and-go spirit of Crawley folk!

“Our town’s joblessness has more than halved to two per cent under this government’s long term economic plan and I’m especially pleased that youth unemployment specifically has now fallen by three-quarters to 2.3 per cent.”

Chris Oxlade, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Crawley, said: “The real problem in Crawley is low wages.

“If you live and work in the town you earn, on average, £5,000 less than those who live outside Crawley but work here.

“It has still taken six years to get back to pre-recession employment levels and people still feel worse off.

“On average real wages in Crawley have fallen by £2,900 per household compared with £1,600 nationally.”

ONS figures showed the number of Crawley people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) was at its lowest level for almost six years.

The number of claimants in June, 1,175, was the lowest since August 2008, 1,160.

The figure peaked at 2,775 in February 2010.

The percentage of townspeople of working age claiming JSA also peaked in February 2010, at 3.9 per cent.

Some one in 63 (1.6 per cent) claimed it in June.