The number of people in East Sussex claiming Job Seekers Allowance has dropped to its lowest since records began in 1983.
The latest figures show the number of claimants in the county has fallen by 27 per cent in the last year and now stands at 4,283.
This equates to 1.4 per cent of working age people in East Sussex.
For Eastbourne the number was 1,568 in June 2014 and in June this year the figure dropped to 1,089 - a reduction of 32 per cent.
Councillor Rupert Simmons, the county council’s lead member for economy, said: “This is extremely positive news, particularly as driving economic growth is one of the council’s key priorities.
“We have a number of initiatives in place to help those wanting to get back to work to do so. We also offer assistance to companies wanting to expand and create more jobs and hope that these efforts will see the figure fall even further in future.”
The East Sussex Invest 3 Fund, financed from the Regional Growth Fund, was launched in July 2013 and closed in June 2015 with £4.2m having been provided for 128 businesses in grants and loans.
The investment has resulted in the promise of more than 570 new jobs, 221 of which have already been created.
In 2013, East Sussex Wheels 2 Work was launched. Funded by East Sussex County Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund programme, the social enterprise offers the loan of a motorcycle, moped or electric cycle to help residents with their daily commute. As well as creating five jobs, the initiative has helped more than 164 people access work.
Since May last year, claimant numbers among young people have dropped by 30 per cent, thanks in part to a number of initiatives targeted at those leaving education.
Cllr Simmons added: “As part of our employability and skills strategy, we are working closely with local secondary schools, colleges and universities and businesses to ensure young people in East Sussex receive the best training possible and can start a successful career in their home county.
“We are also nearing the end of You’re Hired East Sussex, a successful campaign to create 500 apprenticeships over five months, matching young people with local businesses.
“Both of these initiatives are giving our young people the chance to embark on a successful career in East Sussex, which can only have a positive impact on our future economy.”
For more information about the grants and loans available for business growth visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/businessgrants.
For more information about the Wheels 2 Work Scheme visit www.eastsussexwheels2work.co.uk.
For more information about the You’re Hired East Sussex campaign and other opportunities available for young people, visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk/apprenticeships.
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