UNEMPLOYMENT levels across the Herald and Gazette area have fallen to their lowest since 2008, Government figures have revealed.
The amount of residents claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in Arun, Adur and Worthing has continued to fall steadily, with the amount of young people out of work also reducing.
A total of 1.5 per cent of people in Adur and Worthing are claiming the benefit, with 1.4 per cent out of work in Arun last month.
Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce chief executive Tina Tilley was encouraged by the news.
She said: “It’s great to see the statistics dropping but we need to look at the trends in the long-term.
“It may be seasonal and we believe a lot of people are becoming self employed now.
Adur District Council cabinet member for regeneration Pat Beresford said the latest figures showed his area was ‘stable’.
In total, 549 residents were claiming JSA last month, down from 686 in January.
“In Adur, we haven’t got an explosion of new, large employers but what we have got is a stable position which has enabled growth,” Mr Beresford said.
Mr Beresford added companies like Paula Rosa Manhattan, which recently announced plans for expansion, in order to meet increased demand, was allowing job figures to slowly decrease.
He was also pleased to see youth unemployment fall 1.2 per cent from 4.6 per cent since January, leaving 1,185 residents under 24 claiming JSA.
“Youth unemployment is a more difficult nut to crack,” he said.
Arun experienced similar reductions, falling 0.6 per cent since January, leaving 1,185 claiming JSA.
The last time the figures fell so low was May, 2008.
Youth unemployment also dropped to 2.4 per cent, from 3.8 per cent in January.
The areas compare similarly to the rest of the south east, with 1.4 per cent across the region claiming the benefit.
It fares better than the rest of the UK, which has 2.2 million people out of work and claiming JSA (2.4 per cent).
A spokeswoman for Arun District Council said: “This has not happened fortuitously as Arun has made one of its top priorities increasing economic growth and employment opportunities across the district.
“These recent unemployment figures are clear evidence that the work of the council with the many and varied businesses is making a real positive difference.
“This is excellent news for businesses and more importantly for those seeking employment in the district.”