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MP delighted with report declaring 'employment is at an all-time high' as joblessness plummets

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Employment in North Somerset has reached a record-breaking high, with fewer than 1,235 people now claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The number of people in work continues to increase and nearly 6,000 people have found work in the past year.

Research shows the South West has one of the highest employment rates in the country, with more than 2.7 million people with jobs.

North Somerset has a population of more than 200,000 people and more than 106,500 people are in work – a five per cent increase on last year.

MP John Penrose said: “Weston-super-Mare has come a long way in the past few years. These figures show how local businesses have been creating jobs to keep the economy of Weston and the villages growing successfully. We are open for business.”

The Jobcentre and the Office of National Statistics have announced unemployment in the UK has reached an 11-year low, with more than 31.8 million people working nationwide.

Unemployment in North Somerset has dropped by a third in the past three years, thanks to a number of local initiatives to help people into work.

Jobcentre manager James Macnaughton said: “We try our best to get employers to use the Jobcentre and its facilities. We quite often run interviews, fairs and have a number of businesses to lead talks on what they look for in an employee.”

The Jobcentre has focused heavily on unemployment for young adults in the past year and recent statistics show only 315 people making claims were between 18 and 24 years old.

Developments in the town are likely to see the picture improve further in months ahead.

Work on Dolphin Square is under way, and its leisure offering boasting restaurants and a cinema is expected to see 400 new jobs created when it opens in 2017.

A new M5 junction at Banwell – 21a – was proposed at a North Somerset Council meeting last month and the development would improve transport links around North Somerset, as well as provide jobs during construction.

Mr Penrose said: “We need to do more. We have got to stay one step ahead by investing in local transport and skills; through improvements to junction 21 or the college’s new University Centre status, for example – so we keep moving forward.”

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