Devon's jobless down

PUBLISHED: 09:42 13 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:18 10 June 2010

DEVON S economy is showing signs of recovery after latest figures show that the numbers of people claiming job seekers allowance has dropped below the 10,000 mark for the first time since January.

DEVON'S economy is showing signs of recovery after latest figures show that the numbers of people claiming job seekers allowance has dropped below the 10,000 mark for the first time since January.

The number of claimants in Devon, Britain's third largest county, now stands at 9,645, a rate of 2.2 per cent, a significant fall from its peak in April of 11,499, a rate of 2.6 per cent.

This is the sixth month in a row that the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance has fallen.

Numbers of claimants of Jobseekers Allowance across the UK have also begun to fall, although more slowly and only since August of this year - numbers still remain higher than in July 2009.

Nationally, factory output rose by 1.7 per cent in September - its fastest rise in seven years, after a surprise drop of two per cent in August.

This fall in output mirrored the recently announced drop in Gross Domestic Product - the market value of all goods and services made in the UK in a year - the sixth consecutive quarter of recession for the UK.

Cabinet Member for economic regeneration and strategic planning, Councillor William Mumford said: "These figures suggest a note of cautious optimism for Devon's economy when compared with the national picture, although there is no room for complacency.

"The county retains a relatively diverse economic base and over the summer has benefited from the cushioning effects of a reasonably buoyant tourism industry, but remains very dependent on linkages with the rest of the UK economy for its prosperity.

"We must not take our eye off the ball and are maintaining our focus on projects in key market and coastal towns across the county to develop the economy for the longer term."

He said Devon's successful application to the Government's Future Jobs Fund will lead to the creation of 157 and will target unemployment among 18-24 year olds.

"The Economy is a top priority in Devon County Council's new strategic plan and this focus will ensure we are ready to tackle the economic challenges the county faces both in the current recession and over the longer-term."

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