Latest unemployment figures released today show a continuing downward trend and a healthy picture for young people looking for work in South and West Suffolk.
This is despite national figures showing an upward movement with unemployment increasing over two consecutive months,
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that in July in Babergh there were 391 people claiming Jobseekers Allowance compared to 630 last July and 1,019 in July 2013. The downward trend is also reflected in people aged between 18 and 24 claiming JSA - 95 last month compared to 150 in July 2014.
In St Edmundsbury 568 people werer claiming JSA, compared to 829 last July and 1,454 in July 2013. There were 105 claimants aged 18-24 compared to 230 last July.
A similar trend showed for Forest Heath where there were 278, compared with 389 last July and 739 in July 2013. For young claimants aged 18-24 there were 60 last month compared to 80 last July with a significant jump to 215 in July 2013.
In Breckland there were 738 claimants, compared to 1,295 last July and 2,051 in July 2013. In the age range 18-24 there were 170 claimants compared to 340 last year and 600 in July 2013.
In Mid Suffolk there were 483 claimants last month compared to 568 in July 2014 and 918 the previous year. There were 100 aged 18-24 compared to 145 last year and 250 in July 2013.
The figures reflect a continuing downward movement in unemployment for the East of England.
Julia Nix, district manager for East Anglia Job Centre Plus, said there had been a lot of work done by local employers to enable young people to experience the world of work and get into employment.
She said: “At this time of year it is important our young people gain work experience. We know that 75 per cent of young people who undertake work experience get a job.
“As they get their results they have to make work choices either into further education or the world of work .
“We have worked with New Anglia LEP who have been supportive in encouraging employers to offer work experience. The Government took a stand about three years ago and through the Business Innovation and Skills department really talked to businesses as we didn’t want a generation of unemployed young people . Early intervention has been the best way forward.
“We have also had very proactive work done by Chloe Smith in Norwich and Matthew Hancock in West Suffolk.”
Mrs Nix said that engineering companies in the area particularly Richard Bridgeman in Thetford had been championing opportunities for young people.
Overall the labour market was looking good. She added: “Since before Christmas the labour market has been growing month on month showing that economic growth and confidence is coming back particularly in jobs in the HGV market and construction industry where there are hundreds of vacancies. It is very much a jobseekers market.”