Updated: Wednesday, 16th October 2019 @ 4:53pm

Manchester city centre remains UK hotspot for jobseeker claims, latest figures reveal

Manchester city centre remains UK hotspot for jobseeker claims, latest figures reveal

By Reece Lawrence

Manchester city centre has one of the highest numbers of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the UK, according to latest figures.

New statistics from the ONS reveal that in April, 5,744 of Manchester Central’s constituents, which is around 6.5%, were being provided with at least the £56.80 per week available while they looked for work.

Meanwhile in Blackley and Broughton nearly 7% of constituents were claiming unemployment benefit last month – an increase of more than 2% from last year.

More promisingly, only 1,045 people in Cheadle – just 1.9% of constituents – were claiming, a drop of 9.2% from the year before.

Councillor Iain Roberts, Stockport Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, said: “We very much welcome the fall in claimant numbers in Cheadle and the wider Stockport area.

“Stockport remains a key economic driver of the Greater Manchester economy, and this is reflected in the recent figures.”

The figures, which do not depict the overall state of joblessness, suggest that more than 1.5million people in the UK have ‘signed on’.

Unemployment benefit, commonly known as the dole, is handed out to those who are actively seeking work.

Councillor Roberts stressed that the economic situation was still very challenging and that unemployment was a big issue to address, particularly for young people.

He added: “We are committed in our efforts to support residents and employers.”

The figures also showed that more people were on JSA in the North West than in any other region outside London.

Despite this, all ten boroughs in Greater Manchester recorded a fall both in the overall JSA claimant count and in the number of under-25s claiming JSA.

Christian Spence, Research Manager at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said the recent figures brought with them mixed news and criticised the government’s approach to tackling the economic situation.

“The government could and should have done more to support the region’s economy earlier, and we have concerns that last week’s Queen’s Speech shows little evidence that the government intends to change its path," he said.

“The North West is a strong and important part of the UK’s economy and Greater Manchester is the primary urban heart of the region.”

Picture courtesy of Helen Cobain, with thanks.

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