The number of young people claiming unemployment benefits in the Eastbourne area has risen by almost a quarter, according to new figures from the Department for Work and Pensions – writes Henry Sandercock.
In February, 377 people aged between 18 and 24 years old were on state support, an increase of 24 per cent compared to the same month last year.
Overall, the number of unemployed people in Eastbourne rose 17 per cent on February 2018 to 2,281. The data includes people without a job who are claiming benefits linked to unemployment.
Longer-term figures show the total number of unemployed people has fallen. Over the past five years, the overall figure of those on benefits in the town has fallen by 26 per cent whilst youth unemployment has fallen by 38 per cent.
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said, “The latest unemployment statistics are disappointing for the last year but are encouraging for the last five years.
“With the enormous progress Eastbourne is making compared to other seaside towns, what with the opening of the new Beacon centre, total refurbishment of the Congress Theatre, rebuilding of Langney Shopping Centre and much more besides, [the longer-term figures] demonstrate we’re going in the right direction.
“However, recent announcement of closures of TJ Hughes and Debenhams illustrate perfectly just how challenging the retail sector is across the UK.
“It’s really important we all rally around to support those who will soon be losing their jobs. I have already been in touch with both stores.”
In the South East, Government unemployment rate figures continue to show an overall decrease, with 3.2 per cent of the working population not in a job. The national average is 3.8 per cent.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said, “At Jobcentre Plus, we’re working hard with specialist partners to support more people into work. Taking the step back to employment can be daunting, especially when there are complex barriers that make things difficult.
“We’re working with local employers to help them to help them recruit local people and we have more “Disability Confident” employers in the Eastbourne area than ever before.
“This is a busy time for many employers in our town as they start planning seasonal recruitment.
“Jobcentre Plus can help find the right people for local businesses.
“Speak to your Work Coach, or contact the local Jobcentre, for more information.”