South Yorkshire hotspots in top 50 for dole benefits

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Three South Yorkshire constituencies are in the top 50 for the highest number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance, figures show.

Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough is ranked 17th out of 650 across the country with 3,120 people claiming JSA, which includes 750 18 to 24-year-olds.

Sheffield Heeley has 2,349 people claiming the out of work benefit including 600 18 to 24-year-olds – the constituency is ranked 50th.

But the findings show the number of JSA claimants falling, with a 27 per cent fall in Brightside and Hillsborough and a 16 per cent drop in Heeley.

Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP Harry Harpham said: “It just shows that this Government has a lot of work to do. The figures are worrying, especially with youth unemployment which I aim to make a stand for.

“I will be fighting for the people in my constituency.”

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh said: “In Sheffield Heeley youth unemployment is still unacceptably high, with 600 young people aged 18 to 24 across the constituency currently claiming.

“We need action to get young people into work.

“The Government must give young people the chance to earn a living with better quality apprenticeships and must help the thousands left behind in the last five years. Ministers must take action before they condemn a whole generation to joblessness.”

The figures show stark contrasts across the city. In Sheffield Hallam just 476 are claiming JSA, including 100 18 to 24-year-olds.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s constituency ranked just outside the lowest 100 in the country in 545th.

Rotherham is ranked 29th in the country, with 2,422 people claiming JSA, including 570 18-24-year-olds.

MP Sarah Champion said: “These latest figures are incredibly disappointing but, unfortunately, don’t come as a huge shock. It’s been quite clear for some time that South Yorkshire needs a big increase in funding and resources from the Tory Government to get more people into work.”

New national figures showed unemployment has dipped to a seven-year low of 1.83 million but the latest quarterly cut of 35,000 was the smallest for almost two years. In Yorkshire and the Humberside the number of people in employment has fallen by 13,000 in the last three months.

Concerns have been raised by the Trade Union Congress that there is a lack of well-paid and secure jobs, with many families having ‘fewer hours of work than they need’.

However, Chancellor George Osborne said the latest figures show job prospects are improving.