Jobs boom hope for Sheffield as new employers move in

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Sheffield is in line for a jobs boom over the next few years as big employers move to the city creating thousands of roles.

Job centre bosses are predicting more positive news for Sheffield in the coming months, after they reported a fresh fall in unemployment.

The number of people in the city claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance has dropped by 3,687 over the past year – a fall of 26 per cent.

There are 10,524 JSA claimants in the city, a drop of 4 per cent on the 10,965 recorded last month.

Nigel Coleman, an employer account manager at the city’s Cavendish Court job centre, said business confidence is growing – especially with a series of major developments on the horizon in Sheffield.

Work is progressing on the £42 million Fox Valley development in Stocksbridge, which is due to create about 900 jobs once it is completed in early 2016, while another 400 jobs are set to be created by the city’s new Ikea once it opens.

Plans for a new retail quarter in Sheffield city centre are also in progress.

– with Sheffield Retail Development Group and Sheffield Council developing schemes to bring new employers to the city in the next few years.

Mr Coleman said: “There is a general good feeling out there. The more people out there in employment, the more money there is to spend.

“If that is spent locally, those businesses feel more confident and it does become circular. It does feed itself once you start getting this growing economy.

“You have got a lot of new projects coming up in the new year – the development at Stocksbridge and we are working closely with developers for when Ikea comes on board and the Sheffield city centre shops.

“There are just so many businesses out there.”

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.

Mr Coleman admitted some of the new jobs created recently in Sheffield are temporary Christmas roles – with more than 3,000 Christmas jobs in the city centre and another 2,000 at the city’s Meadowhall Shopping Centre – but said employers are looking to keep staff on into the New Year.

He said: “The majority will be temporary vacancies but those employers are very keen to look at keeping people,” he said.

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.”

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