Jobless figures continue to drop in North Devon and Torridge

Seasonal work results in second successive monthly fall in claimants but council leader says real challenge starts after summer.

UNEMPLOYMENT levels have continued to fall across North Devon and Torridge, according to new data.

In May, North Devon saw a 5.4 per cent drop in the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance, from 1,270 claimants to 1,201. In April, the number of claimants fell by 15 per cent compared to the previous month.

In Torridge, the number of claimants dropped by 3.5 per cent for the same period, from 1,155 to 1,115 claimants.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor Brian Greenslade, said: “The district’s now had the largest percentage drop in claimants for both April and May, compared to any other district in the county.

“However, the real challenge is to keep this trend going past the summer, when seasonal work dries up. As a council, I hope we are able to support initiatives that will help make this possible.”

Executive member for economic regeneration, Cllr Malcolm Prowse, said the council was making progress on a ‘short term’ objective to get North Devon’s youngsters into work.

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“We must now focus on getting wage levels up to the South West average and this will narrow the affordability gap for housing for the next generation.”

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