Uttlesford’s unemployment rate down again

OFFICIAL figures have revealed the biggest quarterly fall in the UK unemployment rate since the turn of the century – with Uttlesford witnessing a 1.6 per cent drop.

Nationally, the total number of people out of work in the three months to April fell by 88,000 compared with the previous quarter to 2.43million, the steepest decline since the summer of 2000.

The number of people in employment increased by 80,000 to 29.2million, but there was a fall of 24,000 in public sector employment to 6.1million.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: “This is another encouraging set of figures and a very welcome drop in unemployment. It’s also good news that employment is going in the right direction with half a million more people in private sector jobs compared to this time last year.”

In Uttlesford the figures showed a similar trend as the amount of people out of work fell to just 766 – the lowest for two years.

However, despite good news in north Essex, the East of England was one of only three UK regions to buck the fall in total unemployment, with the figure rising by 8,000 compared with the previous three months to 191,000.

General secretary of the Unison union Dave Prentis said: “The small fall in the jobless total will be no comfort to the hundreds of thousands of public sector workers with redundancy notices hanging over their heads.”

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Elsewhere, unemployment dropped in Braintree by 2.8per cent, and also in Chelmsford, by 2.5 per cent.

DO these figures mean an improvement in the local economy? E-mail us at nick.thompson@archant.co.uk.