Thousands of Sheffield job-seekers back in work

Iain Duncan Smith
Iain Duncan Smith
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Sheffield’s employment figures are continuing to improve - with 3,600 fewer people claiming benefits over the past year, new Government figures have revealed.

The number of people in the city claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance has fallen by 3,687 in the past year - a drop of 26 per cent.

There are currently 10,524 JSA claimants in the city, a drop of four per cent on the 10,965 recorded last month.

Across South Yorkshire, almost 10,000 people have moved off Jobseekers’ Allowance in the past year, although about 25,000 people across the county are still claiming the benefit.

Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: “These remarkable figures show that our long term economic plan to create a better more prosperous future for Britain is working. Behind them are countless stories of individual hard-work and determination, with more people than ever before feeling financially secure.

“What we can see at the end of 2014, is that our welfare reforms are ensuring that people have the skills and opportunities to move into work. Whether that’s work experience for young people to get their foot on the career ladder, the Benefit Cap encouraging people to get a job, or the Work Programme which is helping more people than any previous jobs scheme.

“In Yorkshire and the Humber, private sector employment has increased by 197,000 since 2010. These figures show that our long term economic plan to create a better more prosperous future for Britain is working – with thousands of people feeling more secure over the Christmas period with a regular wage.”

Across the country, the Office for National Statistics said average earnings have increased by 1.6 per cent from a year ago, while the number of people unemployed fell between August and October by 63,000, to 1.96 million.

Frances O’Grady, Trades Union Congress general secretary, said the figures showed some ‘long overdue improvements’, but added wages are still struggling to recover following the recession.

She said: “There is a long way to go to deal with the problem of so many jobs being insecure, short hours, or on zero-hour contracts.”