Unemployment in the Portsmouth area has fallen again to one of its lowest-ever levels.
Portsmouth had the biggest decline in residents claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, with 60 more people now in employment compared to this time last year.
The figure fell from 2,065 to 2,005 – although this is a slower rate of decline than earlier in the year. But compared with figures from June 2015, there are almost 500 more people in work now.
There was a drop of 50 in Havant, from 1,035 to 98.
But Fareham and Gosport had no change in their figures which stayed at 430 and 585, respectively.
But this is down on June 2015’s result, with Fareham seeing an overall dip of 58 in Fareham and 183 in Gosport.
Leone Hill is business manager at Portsmouth Jobcentre in Arundel Street.
She said the figures were promising and predicted a rise in the number of people in work over the festive season.
‘Unemployment has gone down tremendously in the past year,’ she said.‘We’ve seen fluctuations in the job market and we’ll see a rise of jobs over the Christmas period with people moving into seasonal employment.’
She added that although the figures had not changed in Fareham and Gosport, she expected this too to change, with new stores like Lidl in Portchester, helping employment to rise.
Regionally, there are 62,000 more people in employment in the south east – an 11-year low.
Penny Mordaunt, work and pensions minister, said the news was good but stressed the government would be doing more to drive down unemployment.
The Portsmouth North MP said: ‘The initiatives in the green paper I have recently published and local funds distributed from our job centres from December will provide further support for those who want to work but need additional help.
‘I want to see everyone who can work have the dignity and opportunities that come with a paycheck.’