Unemployment drops by 20 per cent in Bognor and Chichester

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Unemployment has plummeted in Bognor Regis and Chichester by around 20 per cent in the past year.

In Chichester the number of people out of work now is 21.8 per cent lower than it was 12 months ago.

New government figures released this week show an equally positive story in Bognor, where unemployment dropped by 19.3 per cent compared to March 2015.

The construction of new housing and new businesses opening in the area are behind the sharp increase in people finding work, the Job Centre said.

“It’s really great news in both Chichester and Bognor,” said Karen Brooks, the Department of Work and Pensions relationship manager for West Sussex.

“Bognor is doing really well. There are currently lots of job vacancies, businesses are taking more and more people on.

“The opening of the new Rolls-Royce factory has really helped the Shripney area.

“Lots of new businesses have moved into Shripney Road, the new M&S, Next, home store B&M opened recently and Wickes is currently being built next to Sainsbury’s.

“I think the new road opening has created much easier access to Bognor and Chichester and it’s seen a positive, snowball effect across the whole area.”

With regards to the Job Centre in Chichester, Karen said ‘every day’ employers were coming in asking for help to recruit workers.

She said: “There seems to be a lot of construction work available. Lots of houses are being built as well as new retail and of course that’s created plenty of jobs.”

There are currently 485 people living in Chichester who are claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA), down from 620 in March 2015, while in Bognor there are 480, down from 595.

“It’s a positive story across the whole of West Sussex really,” Karen said.

“Littlehampton (unemployment) is down 20 per cent, Worthing 18.8 per cent, Horsham is about the same, and Crawley is 13.1 per cent, which is still quite significant considering its size.”

The number of people claiming JSA across West Sussex is currently 4,020, down from the 4,980 this time last year.

The hugely positive Sussex figures accord with a growing national picture of increasing employment.

The UK employment rate is currently a record high 74.1 per cent, with 360,000 more people now in work than this time last year, according to government figures.

The proportion of young people who are in work or full-time education is also nearly the highest it’s ever been, at 85.6 per cent.

The number of people in the UK claiming benefits is also down by 71,500 on the year.

Karen added: “The Job Centre runs a large number of careers events all over the area.

“We’re not just here for people claiming benefits, but people who are considering changing their careers can also come to us and talk to specialist employers.”

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