Rotherham jobless figures fall

THE NUMBER of people claiming out-of-work benefits across the Rotherham borough has fallen.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 4,380 people across the borough - which includes Maltby, Dinnington and Mexborough - claimed jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) in January - a fall of 840 compared to the same month last year.

Youth unemployment also fell by 23 per cent last month with 1,015 people aged 18 to 24 claiming JSA or universal credit.

Nationally, the employment rate now stands at 74.1 per cent.

Nigel Coleman, of Jobcentre Plus, said that unemployment has fallen across South Yorkshire with Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley doing slightly better than Sheffield.

Mr Coleman said that the introduction of universal credit was making it easier for people to take on jobs because it is based on the amount earned rather than the hours worked which he said used to limit people getting back into work in the past.

In the Rotherham area, there are 2,000 temporary vacancies with Pearson Edexcel on the Hellaby Industrial Estate covering eight or nine weeks from May working on processing exams. 

There are 60 vacancies with Greencore in Kiveton, as well as other opportunities with employers across the area.

Sector-based work academies with South Yorkshire Transport Executive and Toyoda Gosei on Bessemer Way, Masbrough, have provided training, work experience and jobs too.

Mr Coleman said: “It’s very encouraging.”

Iain Duncan Smith, secretary of state for work and pensions, said: “February is another record-breaking month as the employment rate is now the highest it has ever been, wages continue to grow strongly, and 150,000 more disabled people in work over the past year.

“People from all backgrounds, right up and down the country, are benefiting from our policies and now enjoying the security of a pay cheque. 

“The number of people in Yorkshire is now at a record high, with the employment rate at 71.8 per cent.”

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) welcomed the increase in employment.

Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills, said: “While it’s encouraging that employment continues to rise strongly, lacklustre pay growth underlines the need for a pickup in productivity before wages can rise faster.

“Propelling innovation by broadening access to existing research and development incentives and not adding to the cumulative burden on businesses, from recent government policies, will help firms to create more jobs and boost productivity.”