Unemployment drops in Sussex

ACCORDING to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, unemployment in Sussex dipped in the last three months, with a fall of 1,117 unemployment benefit claimants across the county.

There are now 26,182 claimants in Sussex, compared with 27,299 in March 2011. The figures show that unemployment benefit claimants in Sussex have fallen consistently over the last four months.

Commenting on the figures, Mark Froud, Chief Executive of Sussex Enterprise said: “These figures are positive overall, with a fall in unemployment in the last few months. There was also an encouraging decline in unemployment among young people. However, there are some causes for concern, with an increase nationally in the number of economically inactive people and those working part-time because they could not find a full-time job rose to a record high.

“The private sector is willing and able to create jobs, but we must not be complacent. It is likely we will see more public sector job cuts in the coming months, and we are expecting unemployment in the UK to increase by 150,000 to a peak of 2.6m over the next 12 to 15 months.

“Given this background, the government must empower the private sector to create jobs by reducing the burden of regulation, particularly on smaller firms. Although the new figures show a marginal increase in earnings growth, wage pressures remain muted and are still well below inflation. Following yesterday’s surprising fall in inflation, this should encourage the MPC to delay interest rate increases until the recovery is more secure. The priority must be to support the recovery and avoid a setback while the government implements measures to reduce the deficit.”