Benefit claimant count in South Yorkshire down 50 per cent on 2010

Sheffield. Picture: Andrew Roe
Sheffield. Picture: Andrew Roe
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South Yorkshire has experienced a 50 per cent drop in people claiming out-of-work benefits since 2010, new figures show.

Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley have all had dramatic declines with 44,761 people claiming out of work benefits in 2010 – this now stands at 22,915.

But government statistics show that the Yorkshire and Humber region, including South Yorkshire, still lags behind many others in the UK.

One Sheffield MP said the figures were welcomed but the city had had a ‘difficult year’ with job losses at Forgemasters and at the HMRC.

In 2010, Sheffield had 17,068 people on job seeker’s allowance compared to today’s figure of 9,350.

Doncaster had 10,847 people on out-of-work benefits, today that figure stands at 5,435.

Rotherham and Barnsley have both had over 50 per cent reductions in five years.

Job Centre boss Nigel Coleman said the jobs market in South Yorkshire was ‘very buoyant’ with many vacancies on offer.

Mr Coleman, employer account manager at Sheffield’s Cavendish Court Job Centre in Sheffield said he was pleased that the figures had continued to improve.

He said: “It’s really encouraging news, the figures are heading in the right direction.

“It’s a very buoyant job market out there right now. It’s different with every person that comes to us, some bounce straight back, for others it takes a bit of time.

“Anyone that comes to us, we will try our very best to get them into work.”

The figures released from the Office of National Statistics show that the claimant count nationally is at its lowest levels since 1974.

Heeley MP Louise Haigh said: “These employment figures are of course welcome, but in Sheffield this has been a difficult year with 100 jobs lost at Forgemasters, 500 at HMRC, hundreds at the local authority and 250 lost from the Business Department’s centre of policy making expertise being moved to London.”

Employment minister, Priti Patel said: “This is another strong set of figures showing private sector employment at the highest since records began, wages rising and a near record number of job vacancies available in the UK economy.

This strength is a real credit to hard-working people and businesses alike.

“There’s really good news for the Yorkshire and Humber too, where the number of people in work is now at a record high, and the employment rate at 71.9 per cent.”