A jobs market ‘bounce’ across South Yorkshire has contributed to a further fall in the number of people receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance in Sheffield, it has been claimed.
The city had 10,281 JSA claimants in April - a reduction of 3,215 people on the figure 12 months ago.
The 24 per cent drop in claimants in Sheffield was echoed in Rotherham, where there was a 26 per cent year-on-year reduction as the number of people getting JSA in the town dropped to 5,081.
In Barnsley, there was also a 26 per cent reduction in claimants, down to 4,025, with Doncaster seeing a 22 per cent to 6,288.
Nigel Coleman, employer account manager at the Cavendish Court job centre in Sheffield, said there has been around a 40 per cent reduction in claimants across South Yorkshire in the past five years. He said the figures were part of a positive wider picture of employment growth across the UK.
Mr Coleman said: “We are seeing a real bounce. Perhaps we were hit more when the recession was on and are bouncing back quicker.”
Nationally, 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. The number of people claiming JSA fell by 12,600 in April to 763,000, the 30th consecutive monthly reduction.
Concerns have been raised by the TUC that there is a lack of well-paid and secure jobs, with many families having ‘fewer hours of work than they need’.
But Mr Coleman said this did not appear to be the case in Sheffield.
He said: “There are some zero-hours contracts out there and there is a place for them to give employers that flexibility. More and more often people are being offered permanent contracts from what starts as a zero-hours contract.
“We don’t take any action against somebody if they turn down a zero hours contract because it is a fragile world to be in.
“It is not a big issue - we don’t have a lot of people turning up and saying ‘I have been stung by a zero-hours contract’. 99.9 per cent of the time it works out well.”
He said there is currently a particularly strong demand for LGV drivers, while companies such as HSBC, Aviva and McDonald’s are also hiring locally.