There is fresh evidence that the recovery in the local economy is continuing with the release of today’s national unemployment figures which shows that the number of job seekers in the borough has fallen to its lowest level since January 2008, before the recession struck.
There are currently 859 jobseekers in the borough, down from 901 last month which is less than half of the recession peak of 2,032 claimants in November 2009.
This represents just 1.1% of the working age population well under the national average of 2.7%.
These figures are just unemployment benefit claimants – the total number of people out of work is higher, but local figures are not available. Nationally the total number out of work has also dropped to a five year low.
The positive news coincides with an announcement made today by the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney who said that the British economy is now heading “back to normal”.
Construction has been major employment driver, having been stimulated by low interest rates and taxpayer funded buyer incentive schemes like ‘Help to Buy’.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors warned in their quarterly report last month that the pick up in construction has been so strong, there is now a lack of skilled workers across many trades in the building industry and that this could threaten the pace of recovery.
Welcoming the news that the number of benefit claimants is now back to pre-recession levels the Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council Cllr Keith House told Eastleigh News:
“We are certainly seeing the economy picking up in a range of sectors. Construction is booming and the number of retailers in discussion with the Council looking to locate in Eastleigh and Hedge End is very positive.
Eastleigh’s MP Mike Thornton said:
“This is more excellent news for Eastleigh. It is great news for the businesses creating these jobs and for the many hard-working people behind those numbers who are now able to take home a pay packet and provide for their families.”
“It is important we use this momentum to ensure more skilled jobs are created.
This is why I am particularly pleased with the huge boost to apprenticeships delivered by the coalition government, with more than 3000 new apprenticeships since 2010 in Eastleigh Borough alone.”