Lincoln optimistic as number of jobseekers falls again
The chief executive of Lincolnshire's Chamber of Commerce says a drop in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in Lincoln is encouraging.
Figures have revealed the JSA tally for July was 2,962, the first time it has dipped under 3,000 in the city since 2011.
Welcoming the news, Simon Beardsley has claimed optimism about the future is now at its highest level for six years.
"The outlook for employment across the county and city is looking positive," he said.
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"For the first time in two years the number of people in the City of Lincoln claiming Jobseeker's Allowance is under 3,000.
"This matches the Lincolnshire Chamber's latest research, through the Quarterly Economic Survey, which shows that business optimism is at its highest level for six years.
"Lincolnshire businesses have also told us that their workforce is up 20 per cent, a rise of 8 per cent from the previous quarter.
"Anecdotally, I think this relates to the upturn in the economy and the need to fulfil future orders."
Despite the drop in the number of people claiming JSA in Lincoln, it still represents 4.7% of the population available for work compared to the East Midlands' average of 3.3 per cent and national 3.4 per cent.
But the county's JSA total for July was 12,978 – representing 2.9 per cent of the adult population available for work – lower than regional and national averages. It was made up of 4,005 young people in the 18 to 24 age range, 6,705 25 to 49-year- olds and 2,235 aged 50 to 64.
Beardsley says Lincolnshire must not get too comfortable.
"We must not get complacent," he said. As a county our employment figure is above average for the region.
"And the number of businesses saying they expect their workforce to continue growing over the next three months is only 16 per cent. This is down slightly across manufacturing and the service sector."
More than 60,000 Lincolnshire residents were claiming benefits of any kind – including carers' and disability payments.
The figure of 61,200 was 13.8 per cent of the adult working population, which was exactly the same figure as the East Midlands' average and less than the 14.3 per cent national average.