Life is tough for plenty of people in our region but it would be wrong to ignore signs of a local economy that is creating jobs and taking people off benefits.
As we report today, Sheffield had 10,281 people claiming Jobseekers Allowance in April – a fall of 3,215 people on the figure 12 months ago.
The 24 per cent drop in claimants in the city 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 fall to 6,288.
It is encouraging to see.
Contrary to what some may want you to believe, the vast majority of those out of work are desperate to return into it.
Of course there should be a safety net in place, provided by the state, which helps tide people over until a job is secured.
But there’s nothing like receiving a wage or salary from your own endeavours. It provides a sense of worth and boosts confidence individually and collectively across families and communities.
The figures are heading in the right direction but more still needs to be done.
However, through a combination of private enterprise, global business, education and support from government there is plenty of good news.
A Chinese global engineering giant is opening an office in Sheffield. CISDI Group, which builds steel factories, chose the city over New York and Dusseldorf
A small family business in Pleasley Vale has become the 130th Sheffield City Region company to receive a grant under an £84m taxpayer-funded scheme that is set to create 5,500 jobs.
And executives from Japanese technology giant Toshiba were today set to sign a £1.5 million deal to be a partner at Sheffield’s new Advanced Wellbeing and Research Centre.
The agreement involves the provision of cutting edge equipment for the centre, which is being built at the Olympic Legacy Park, on the former Don Valley Stadium site in Attercliffe. It follows a £14m Government pledge to fund the AWRC.
These are just a few of the positive stories we have reported on recently. We also have more than 280 jobs advertised in today’s paper.
The hard work doesn’t stop now. Life, for many, is improving so let’s not be shy in telling people.