‘Their pay doesn’t stretch far anymore’: Union claims more needs to be done despite drop in Manchester jobseekers

By Tim Hyde

There were 3,800 less Manchester jobseekers searching for employment last month than in October, according to new research.

More than 65,400 people in Manchester were claiming Jobseeker’s allowance in November which has fallen by 5.6% compared to figures recorded by The Office for National Statistics in October.

New research reveals that figures for the whole North West fell by 4.4% and with is 0.7% better than the average rate across Great Britain.

Baron Frankal, director of economic strategy at New Economy, said: “We’re always encouraged by news that jobseeker numbers are continuing to fall.

“However, we should bear in mind the familiar pattern at this time of year, which will in all likelihood see an increase in the first quarter of 2014, as temporary seasonal jobs come to an end.”

Unemployment is taking a step in the right direction as people are starting to find jobs – like Jamie Duke from Altrincham.

The 26-year-old said: “I have been on Jobseeker’s allowance for ages, but I finally have a job now.

“A lot of my mates have just got jobs, which has pretty lucky because Christmas is an expensive time of year.”

Youth unemployment in Greater Manchester has also decreased between October and November, falling by 1,500 to around 16,400 people.

On an annual basis, the number of youth claimants is 30.0% (7,100) lower than this time last year.

Lynn Collins, NW TUC Regional Secretary, said, “We welcome the fall in unemployment that we’ve seen today but the long term unemployment figures show that there is a clear need for more to be done in the region.

“Seeing people, who want to get back in to work, spend successive Christmases on the dole is not only demoralising for them but damaging for us too.

“Festive cheer will be difficult for many families this year. We hear of workers who tell us that they see their pay packet just doesn’t stretch as far anymore.

“At this time of year, it’s more noticeable as families will find it harder to afford the basic necessities, let alone presents. It’s little wonder that we are seeing urgent appeals for people to donate to food banks across the region.”

In the North West Manchester has had the second biggest fall of people claiming Jobseeker’s allowance, losing out to neighbours Liverpool.

“What we know for sure is that there is still room to improve routes to employment in Greater Manchester, as highlighted by the evidence in our recently published skills analysis,” added Baron Frankal.

“A key point is that employment is not yet back at its pre-recession level, so even though the labour market is showing signs of recovery we need to ensure that sufficient opportunities are created in Greater Manchester to drive down unemployment on a sustained basis.”

Picture courtesy of HelenCobain via Flickr, with thanks.

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