Horsham records biggest fall in unemployment in county

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Horsham recorded the biggest fall in unemployment in West Sussex last month, according to official figures.

In figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday (May 18), 31.58 million people were in work across the UK between January and March this year.

The total is an increase of around 44,000 on the previous quarter (October to December 2015) and also a rise of 409,000 on January to March last year.

Both Horsham and West Sussex followed the national trend.

According to the ONS 395 people were out of work in the town in April 2016.

The figure shows a fall of 8.1 per cent on the previous month’s total and a year on year drop of 28.8 per cent.

Both falls are the biggest in West Sussex.

Simon Hobday, relationship manager at the Jobcentre Plus, said Horsham was particularly buoyant and was very pleased with the continued drop.

Elsewhere Worthing reported the next highest monthly drop of 6.2 per cent, whilst Haywards Heath and Crawley recorded 4.3 per cent and two per cent falls respectively.

West Sussex as a whole saw unemployment fall to 3,855, a decrease of 4.1 per cent over the month and a yearly drop of 18.8 per cent.

However, the total number of young people out of work in the district has stayed the same.

ONS figures show 50 people between 18 and 24 are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, the same as the previous month but a fall of 41 per cent on last year.

The county’s young jobless total was down two per cent on March 2016 to 530, which was also a drop of 41 per cent of the last year.

Mr Hobday said despite the positive results there were still areas the centre was struggling to find recruitment for.

He said: “The sectors struggling to recruit are retail and construction.

“We have lots of vacancies we are trying to fill at Tesco and Tesco.com.

“It is proving quite challenging at the moment which is a nice challenging but from an employers point of view it is very difficult.”

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