Fewer claim, more chase jobs

THE number of people claiming unemployment benefit has fallen in the Lancaster district over the past two years, but the number of job applicants for advertised positions has risen, according to official statistics.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures for March reveal there were 2,564 Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimants across the district, down from 2,684 in March 2010, and 2,823 in 2009.

This figure is one per cent below the national average.

There were 378 unfilled Job Centre vacancies, and an average of 6.8 applicants per advertised job, compared to 4.4 in March 2010, and 8.4 in March 2009.

Ann Morris, chief executive of Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce, said: “Any reduction in the number of JSA claimants has to be a good thing, but I don’t think we’re seeing the real picture, as there are a lot of people who are unemployed but don’t claim JSA, or claim another benefit.

See the Lancaster Guardian (05-05-11) for full story.