Arun District Council has said it is ‘working closely’ with partner organisations to lower the number of people in the district looking for work.
Over the last five years, the latest figures show the total number of claimants – including those on job seekers allowance and universal credit – is down by 50 per cent.
This is despite a 16 per cent increase in the last year, which means the figure currently stands at 1,185, of which 225 are aged between 18 and 24.
A spokesman described supporting economic and employment growth as a ‘key objective’ for the council.
They said: “We know, directly from Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), that our project, Journey to Work, has certainly impacted on those who have been longer term unemployed particularly.”
The spokesman explained ‘after a short gap’ the project was relaunched on Thursday and that the council expects to ‘continue to work with local people and businesses to help even more people gain employment’.
“We have also helped many of those wishing to take up self-employment. This has been through funding the University of Chichester to run start up workshops and support for anyone wishing to start their own company.”
They added that support from the business networks has helped 810 new ventures launch in the last year, some of which have been helped by the LEAP grant programme and that the Developer and Partner Charter encouraged developers to take on local employees.
The short term rise, but overall fall, in Arun’s claimant figures is reflected in the latest data for Chichester, too.
Chichester District Council leader Tony Dignum said: “In the current economic climate, people are being more cautious, which is why we have probably seen this slight change.”
He added: “The long term picture is looking very positive.”
In the South East the employment level is up 115,000 and the employment rate up to 79.9 per cent.
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