December rise in jobless total was ‘expected’

Unemployment in Mid Sussex is down 26% in the past year
Unemployment in Mid Sussex is down 26% in the past year

Crawley’s jobless total has increased slightly since the end of December according to statistics released last week.

In figures by the Office of National Statistics, which include results for both Crawley and East Grinstead, around 1,170 people were said to be claiming Jobseekers Allowance last month.

The total shows a six per cent increase on December’s figures where 1,100 people were reportedly out of work.

But Paul Niner partnership manager for the JobCentre Plus said the figures were not ‘bucking the trend’ of what was expected at this time of year with a slight increase always likely after the Christmas period.

He said: “It is a slight increase on Decembers results but that is to be expected.

“It only happens because of the Christmas period and everyone taking temporary Christmas jobs. It is not bucking the trend and we would not expect the figures to be going down.”

Despite the slight increase over the past month the figures show a dramatic fall on last years jobless total.

The amount of people in Crawley - including East Grinstead - claiming Jobseekers Allowance is down 34 per cent since last January.

The figures for the county show a similar pattern.

In January 5,240 people were claiming the allowance, up by five per cent on the previous month but showing a decrease of around 33 per cent over the year.

The number of young people in the county claiming Jobseekers Allowance was also up on last months total, rising by three per cent with 980 claimants.

This however, was a drop of around 40 per cent on last years results where around 1,625 people were out of work.

Paul added the JobCentre plan to continue working with West Sussex County Council to try and keep the figures as low as possible and said they will be joining the council in a number of new schemes to help those struggling to get into work.