Unemployment on rise in Retford, but jobs outlook still “positive”

STOCK: job centre plus sign.
STOCK: job centre plus sign.

Unemployment in Retford has slightly increased in the past month – but the overall jobs picture across the district is still “very positive”.

The latest figures, released yesterday, show the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the town rose from 375 in December 2015 to 396 in January 2016.

Bassetlaw Games awards night.  Pictured is MP John Mann (w121008-7p)

Bassetlaw Games awards night. Pictured is MP John Mann (w121008-7p)

And the number of young people, aged 18 to 24, claiming the benefit increased from 98 to 106 during the same period.

However, it is believed this increase is a result of fewer people making claims in December due to the high number of temporary Christmas jobs that become available. Despite the slight increase, unemployment across all ages in Bassetlaw has decreased 16.4 per cent in the past 12 months. Sue Fielding, senior operations leader at Jobcentre Plus, said: “Overall, it is a very positive picture.

“At the moment there is no indication of employment slowing down.

“You often see a slight increase in people claiming in January combined to December because of seasonal jobs.”

The same small increases also occurred at other surrounding areas including Worksop and Mansfield.

In total, the number of people claiming JSA in Nottinghamshire increased from 13,829 in December 2015 to 14,605,a rise of 5.6 per cent.

Youth unemployment figures across Bassetlaw have fallen 16.4 per cent.

John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw, said: “The issue around here is the number of hours people can work and their take-home pay.

“People often aren’t able to get the hours or wages they need. Local people need higher wages.”

Unemployment in the UK fell by 60,000 between October and December to 1.69 million, according to the Office for National Statistics.

ONS says more than 31.4m people are currently employed, while pay increased 2 per cent between October and December.

Ms Fielding said: “There is a lot of activity going on and employers are actively recruiting, particularly in the hospitality, retail and care sectors.

“Getting that first foot through the door is the biggest step, whether that being down to confidence or not knowing what it is employers are looking for.

“Work experience is key and employers are also now realising the importance of that. Employers get to see what a person is like in the workplace and see if they are cut out for it.”