The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in Horsham increased by more than 10 per cent in the 12 months to December 2017, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Figures showed that in 2017, an average of 592 people were claiming jobseeker’s allowance at any one time – an increase of 10.24 per cent on the average of 537 people who claimed the allowance throughout 2016.
The figures – which analyse jobseeker allowance claimant counts in the Horsham district from January 2013 to December 2017 – revealed a 16 per cent increase in the number of claimants for the month of December 2017 compared to December 2016.
In December 2017, 615 people the allowance compared to 530 people in the final month of 2016, the figures revealed.
In total, 0.7 per cent of Horsham’s population was claiming jobseeker’s allowance by the end of 2017.
Alternatively, across the South East region, 1.2 per cent of people were claiming jobseeker’s allowance by the end of December 2017 – 0.5 per cent higher than Horsham’s percentage – although this figure may be impacted by the rollout of universal credit in other parts of the region which is not factored into the latest ONS figures.
Nationally, 1.9 per cent of the population was claiming jobseeker’s allowance by the end of December 2017 – up 1.2 per cent on Horsham’s figure.
Horsham MP Jeremy Quin, who congratulated Collyer’s students for coming first in the UK National Robotics Competition in the House of Commons on Monday (January 29), said: “There is no room for complacency but local unemployment remains massively below the national average and is a great local success story. We are in the top ten per cent in the country for low unemployment.
“In fact one of the biggest concerns from local employers (including at last autumn’s Horsham District Council Jobs Fair) is their ability to match their growth with new employees. Some have embarked on brilliant apprenticeship schemes and I am also impressed with the skills engendered by our local schools and by Collyer’s – whose practical fostering of STEM subjects I was proud to congratulate in the House of Commons this week.
“A high employment rate also means we must redouble our efforts to half the ‘disability employment gap’ – something on which I know Horsham Job Centre plus is very focussed.”
The number of jobseeker allowance claimants in Horsham reached a record high in February 2013 when 1,345 people – 1.7 per cent of the district’s population – were claiming it.
December 2017’s figure reveals a 54 per cent decrease in claimants since February 2013.
In the two years after 2013, the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance steadily decreased until a record low in December 2015 when 455 people – 0.6 per cent of the population – were claiming.
The percentage of jobseeker claimants has not gone breached more than one per cent of the district’s population since March 2014.