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Unemployment drops, official figures show

Wed 19 September 2012, 10:34 am

Medway has seen joblessness levels fall over the past three months, suggesting local measures to improve training opportunities and bolster economic-development are paying dividends.

According to official figures from the Office for National Statistics, the number of residents out of work and claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance fell by 167 between May and August 2012, with a fall of 62 between July and August alone.

Claimant numbers fell from 7,308 in May to 7,141 in August, Medway Council said, adding that unemployment among 18-24 year-olds had fallen from 2,315 to 2,220 over the same period.

Councillor Jane Chitty, Medway’s cabinet member for development and economic growth said the figures were evidence of the authority’s determination to help residents get into work and find suitable training opportunities.

“The council has worked hard alongside our local businesses and training providers over the past few years to ensure we make the most of the real opportunities there are here in Medway and take advantage of the European funding streams that are available to help benefit local people” she said.

“We will continue to work hard to ensure we don't lose momentum and we keep these figures falling."

One measure being taken to combat unemployment in Medway is the use of more than £200,000 in council and European Union finance to boost the number of apprenticeships in the borough.

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