Huge fall in jobless as employers boom

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The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Sheffield has fallen by 23 per cent in the last year, new figures show.

There were 3,883 fewer claimants in the city at the end of May than the year previous - more than 850 fewer in the last three months alone - cutting the total to 13,095.

In Rotherham some 6,540 people are signing on, down from 7,097 three months ago. In Doncaster the total is 7,594, a fall of 922 in the same period.

The figures were released by the Department for Work and Pensions which said that nationally 780,000 more people were in work than a year ago - the biggest annual rise in a quarter of a century.

Nigel Coleman, employer account manager at JobCentre Plus on Bank Street in Sheffield city centre, said the vast majority of ex-claimants were people who had found jobs.

At the same time big employers including Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Amey were approaching them with dozens of vacancies.

He added: “Last year there was a fractional drop in the number of claimants, this year it is very visible. It’s a sign the job market is much more buoyant. And we have employers coming to the JobCentre wanting to recruit.”

Current recruiters include Sainsbury’s which is looking for 130 people for its new Wadsley Bridge store, Aldi wants 120 people for its new distribution centre - Europe’s largest - opening in October in the Dearne. This figure is set to rise to 500 when it is fully operational.

Tesco is opening a new store in Hoyland and Meadowhall, Mondelez, Amey and Amazon were all looking for staff, Nigel added.

Nationally, unemployment is down to a five-year low of 6.6 per cent, a total of 347,000 people.

And long-term unemployment is down by 108,000.