Rushmoor records lowest rate of unemployment since 2008 as new JSA claimant figures are published
Unemployment in Rushmoor dropped to its lowest rate in five years according to the latest Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimant figures.
The number of claimants for the period April to June was 1,287 – equating to 2% of the population in the local authority. This is the lowest rate since the third quarter of 2008 when 915 (1.5%) were claiming benefits.
Male claimants represented the biggest drop, with 0.6% fewer on JSA.
The drop was reflected nationally, as 3.4% were said to be signed on – the lowest rate since the fourth quarter of 2008. The average for the south east was 2.1%.
Encouragingly, the latest statistics for Rushmoor also indicate that there was a drop of 0.4% since the first quarter of this year, which represents the biggest decrease since early 2010.
Chris Quintana, north Hampshire business development manager at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said the news that BMW Group is to relocate its UK sales and marketing divisions to Summit Avenue, Farnborough, as well as the opening of Costco in the town last month suggested ‘more optimism’.
Phil Stoneman, Rushmoor Borough Council's economic development officer, said the council had worked closely with new employers such as Cineworld, Morrisons and restaurants in Aldershot’s Westgate complex to ensure local people had the opportunity to apply for jobs.
He said: “Companies, including the BMW Group, choose Rushmoor as a location for their businesses and this sends out a very positive message that we are a good place to do business.
“In addition to encouraging and supporting new business to the area we are keen to ensure that we maintain strong links with existing businesses and help them to remain and grow in the local area.”
Funding of £2.5m from enterprise partnership Enterprise M3 to Farnborough International in June, which will be used to construct buildings for next year’s air show and other events, is also intended to stimulate economic growth in the borough.
Elswhere Surrey Heath recorded 777 job seekers claiming benefits – down 0.1% to 1.4% – continuing a steady decline since the last quarter of last year when there were 888.
It was the lowest figure for the borough since 754 was recorded at the end of 2008.
There was similar optimism in the borough of Guildford, which includes Ash, where 1,214 (1.3%) people were on JSA. Again, this was the lowest number since October to December 2008, when 872 people were on benefits.
Only 559 (1%) claimants were recorded in Hart, compared with 429 (0.7%) in 2008.