The latest jobless figures for Sheffield should 'shame' the Government, says an MP, despite ministers claiming national employment rates are at a record high.
There are nearly 9,400 claimants in Sheffield who are required to seek work, new data from the Office for National Statistics shows - a rate of 2.5 per cent, which has not changed in the last year and is above the UK average of 2.1 per cent.
The claimant count has risen during the past year in the constituencies of Sheffield Heeley, Sheffield Central, and Sheffield South East, though it has fallen in Hallam, Brightside & Hillsborough, and Penistone & Stocksbridge.
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In Sheffield Heeley, the claimant count rose by two per cent to just over 2,000 people, more than one in five of whom are aged 24 or under.
Louise Haigh, MP for the constituency, said: "The rise in unemployment should be a source of shame for the Government.
"We’re seeing the consequences of eight years of their running down of our country, with hundreds of young people in the area I represent not being able to work, earn and build a life for themselves."
Nationally, the claimant count - which is often used as an indicator for unemployment - rose by nine per cent to over 870,000.
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However, the UK's official unemployment rate of 4.3 per cent is the lowest it has been since 1975, with 127,000 fewer people out of work than a year ago, according to the Government.
The employment rate, meanwhile, stands at a joint record high of 75.3 per cent.
Work and pensions secretary Esther McVey said: "Getting a job means securing an income for a family and the chance to build a better future. That’s why up and down the country we are doing all we can to help people into work."
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She added that from next month, increases in the National Living Wage and the tax-free allowance would benefit the country's lowest earners.
Unemployment figures measure the number of people without a job who have been actively seeking work and are available to start work within the next fortnight, while the claimant count is the number of people receiving benefits principally for the reason of being unemployed.
The latest unemployment figures for Sheffield, published in January, showed 17,000 people aged 16 or over were out of work - a rate of exactly six per cent.
Ms Heeley said the claimant count for Sheffield is expected to rise with the full rollout of Universal Credit, scheduled for November this year.
WHAT IS UNEMPLOYMENT LIKE WHERE YOU LIVE?
Sheffield: 6.0 per cent (17,000 people aged 16 or over)
Rotherham: 4.9 (6,000)
Doncaster: 6.0 (9,000)
Barnsley: 5.1 (6,000)
* latest figures published by the ONS on January 24, 2018
Penistone & Stocksbridge: 815 claimants required to seek work (-1 per cent annual change)
Sheffield Central: 2,010 (+3)
Sheffield South East: 1,550 (+5)
Sheffield, Brightside & Hillsborough: 2,740 (-2)
Sheffield Hallam: 475 (-8)
Sheffield Heeley: 2,015 (+2)
* latest figures published by the ONS on March 21, 2018