County jobless drops slightly

ACCORDING to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, unemployment in Sussex remained relatively flat in March, with a fall of just 152 unemployment benefit claimants across the county.

There are now 27,299 claimants in Sussex, compared with 27,451 in the previous month.

Commenting on the figures, Mark Froud, Chief Executive of Sussex Enterprise said: “Today’s figures are broadly positive, and partly reverse the disappointing numbers reported over the last few months.

“Over the four months to February, unemployment rose in Sussex. The figures are welcome, but they should not lead to any complacency.

“The Government must create the right environment for the private sector to create jobs. As the deficit-cutting programme starts to bite, public sector employment will decline further.

“We are expecting UK unemployment to increase further over the next year, and to peak at around 2.65 million before starting to decline. National figures show that growth in earnings has weakened, particularly in the private sector, and reinforces the case against an early increase in interest rates.

“Since there is little risk of a wage-price spiral, the MPC should postpone interest rate increases until later in the year when the recovery is more secure.”