|Recession Busters: Local Economy Continues to Grow
There have been further signs of recovery in Wigan’s economy following the release of the latest employment figures.
For the fourth successive month, the numbers of locals claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance have fallen.
In April, 352 people found work – the largest drop in unemployment in Greater Manchester - and council regeneration officers now report that in May, a further 575 people came off JSA.
Wigan Council’s cabinet champion for regeneration, Cllr David Molyneux, said: “This is once again good news for local people and the local economy. Every person who is out of work is one person too many, and so we are continuing with a major programme to boost skills and jobs in our area.”
The rate of JSA claimants now totals 4.7 per cent of the working age population, a reduction on last month’s rate of 5.0 per cent. Figures started to shoot upwards at the end of 2008 and this month’s results returns the borough to the position we were in last spring, but now with a strong downward trend.
Council officers have been pushing hard for jobs with a package of investments locally. Another Local Life Centre is due to open in Ince shortly, giving the public a portal into local services, including jobs searches. A centre opened in Platt Bridge a few weeks ago.
Meetings between senior council officers and the banks and local organisations such as credit unions, plus the launch of an apprentices’ scheme, have kept down home repossessions and unemployment figures.
“We have seen huge drop in unemployment this year,” adds Cllr Molyneux. “We continue to lead the recovery in Greater Manchester, showing that the local economy is bearing up well. More importantly for individuals, it means people are keeping their jobs, and finding new ones too.”
The council’s regeneration team remain committed to measures to improve the local economy and is working with a variety of local partners to promote both support for those in employment and advice for those looking for work.