While there is still lots more to do, this month’s employment figures are further evidence that the Government’s long-term economic plan is working, with 30.6 million people in work – almost the highest level on record.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has now dropped below a million for the first time since 2008, while youth unemployment is falling faster than anywhere in the G7 and has seen the largest annual fall since records began.
The latest figures for Pendle show another monthly fall, with the number of people out of work in August standing at 1,186. This is 605 lower than August, 2013. Crucially, this means unemployment in Pendle is now below the North West and national averages as our area has fared better than other areas. Overall unemployment in Pendle has fallen 47% since its peak in August, 2009.
Encouragingly, there are a record number of jobs being advertised, both through our local job centres and elsewhere. In the last couple of weeks on twitter, I have seen job adverts from Daisy in Nelson and Denwa in Barrowford, the Fence Gate Inn and Barley Mow in Pendleside, a new care home in Colne and Hope Technology in Barnoldswick. It is also noticeable how many shops and restaurants are advertising vacancies in their windows at the moment.
There are many more jobs in the pipeline with the new Booths in Barrowford creating around 70 full-time jobs and the redevelopment of the Glen Mill site in Colne expected to create around 80 jobs.
We also have some fantastic local groups helping people back into work, like the Christians Against Poverty Job Club in Nelson or the Open Door Job Club in Colne. These remain difficult times for those out of work and there is more to do, but it is clear that here in Pendle we have lots of reasons to be positive.