Future is bright for jobseekers in Waveney according to the district manager of an employment agency

Jobcentre Plus. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Jobcentre Plus. Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The future is bright for jobseekers in Waveney according to the district manager of a government funded employment agency.

This reaction comes despite the latest Labour Market Statistics demonstrating more people in the East of England are claiming unemployment benefits - in contrast to UK employment reaching its highest rate since records began.

Statistics also show that 515 young people, aged between 18 and 24, are claiming universal credit in the Waveney area compared to January 2016 when 135 young people were out of work.

Julia Nix, Jobcentre Plus district manager for East Anglia, said: 'Claiming universal credit does not mean they are out of work as they might be in part-time work or be receiving working tax credits or other forms of benefits.

'Waveney is a universal credit full service which means it's trickier to measure and compare month on month.

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'These figures are healthy for this time of the year as we expect a dip after Christmas, as seasonal work stops in January and people begin claiming benefits again in January.'

However, in Norfolk and Waveney the number of Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimants halved from 7,627 in January 2016 to 4,301 last month.

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This reduction comes as a result of the introduction of universal credit welfare payment which has replaced six other benefits with one monthly payment.

Lowestoft was among the first towns where this was implemented in May 2016, with 2,065 people in total currently receiving universal credit.

Ms Nix added: 'These figures tell us that we have strong labour market which is supporting a traditional small seasonal dip.

'Employers have been very supportive and receptive of helping young people into the world of work.'

She continued to explain contributing factors such as growth in the wind farm and renewable energy industries had attracted further investment in the Waveney area resulting in greater job opportunities.

'There's a whole host of renewable energy opportunities out there. Overall it is very positive and the future is bright.

'I recommend anybody looking for work to visit Jobcentre Plus as we are able to advise and help them in getting into future employment.'

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