Seven per cent rise in Crawley unemployment


Crawley has seen another slight rise in the amount of people out of work.

In February’s figures released by the Office of National Statistics on Wednesday (March 18), 1,250 people were said to be claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in the town.

The total sees an increase of around 7 per cent on the previous month’s figures.

However, in comparison to last year’s statistics the tally shows a drop of more than 32 per cent where 1,840 people were reportedly out of work.

Paul Niner, partnership manager for the JobCentre Plus, said the news was ‘still positive’ despite the slight rise over the past month and added he did not expect this trend to continue.

He explained there had been an increase in claimants over the January period due to people being dismissed early from their temporary Christmas jobs.

These people were still on the register when it came to February’s figures although he added some had now gone on to get new jobs and the total had already started to drop.

He said: “I phoned up the local office to check why we have had this slight rise and what they told me was they usually have a peak in February.

“The companies have let people go earlier than they usually do. That has led to an increase of claimants in January and these people are still registered.

“A majority of people go back to work after three months. It is just a backlog we saw from Christmas but it is already starting to fall back down.

“Despite the slight increases it is still positive news.”

The figures for young people out of work in the town have also seen a slight increase on the previous month.

Currently 205 people between 18 and 24 are claiming JSA, a 21 per cent rise.

But the figures show a drop of around 45 per cent when compared to February’s total last year where there were 375 claimants.

Mr Niner explained the increase in young people being out of work had again been affected by the early dismissals in temporary Christmas jobs.

He continued: “What tends to happen is the young people get affected the most as they are the people that usually take on these temporary Christmas jobs.

“However, it looks worse than it is and we do not expect this trend to continue.”

The figures for the county show a similar pattern.

In February 5,270 people were claiming JSA, an increase of 0.6 per cent.

In comparison to last year, where 7,765 people were reportedly out of work, the statistics show a drop of around 32 per cent.

The number of young claimants is also up on last months total in the county.

Around 1,030 youngsters between 18 and 24 were reportedly out of work in February, an increase of five per.

This however, was a drop of around 40 per cent on last years total with 1,720 people claiming JSA last February.