Jobless figures down across two districts

New figures show fall in local unemployment in North Devon and Torridge.

UNEMPLOYMENT has fallen in North Devon and Torridge during the last month.

North Devon saw the largest fall in the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance than anywhere else in the county.

In April, the figure for the district dropped by 15 per cent in one month, from 1,510 claimants to 1,270.

In Torridge, the number of claimants dropped by 6.1 per cent for the same period, from 1,231 to 1,156 claimants, which equates to 2.9 per cent of 16-64-year-olds in the district.

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Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor Brian Greenslade, said: “Unfortunately, North Devon has seen some high levels of unemployment, especially in winter months when seasonal work has dried up.

“However, while we can’t pretend these latest figures have changed that completely, they are promising and show the situation is improving. Economic regeneration is a priority for North Devon Council, and we’ll continue to support efforts wherever possible to help more people get back into work.”

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Claimant figures for North Devon do traditionally drop around April time as the demand on the tourism industry grows. However, the council said it was working with other stakeholders to help regenerate the local economy and lead to higher and more prolonged employment.

In October last year, the council set up a task team made up of local business leaders, elected members and council officers.

It is currently focused on bringing forward employment land to meet demand from businesses looking for sites in Barnstaple and is also looking at ensuring young people have the qualifications and skills that local employers really need.

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