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Fall in unempoyment figures is welcomed in West Dorset
UNEMPLOYMENT in the borough and surrounding area is going down, according to new figures.
The data, collected by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows the number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in West Dorset fell from 667 in July to 639 in August.
And the figures brought welcome news for Weymouth and Portland , which traditionally has a higher rate of unemployment than elsewhere in the county, where claimants fell from 955 to 901.
The rate of unemployment in the borough remains the second highest, after Bournemouth, for any local authority area in the county, at 2.3 per cent of the workforce.
However, in West Dorset it is the lowest in the county at just 1.2 per cent of the workforce.
While the figures may point towards additional seasonal employment, boosted by the Olympics this year, the news was seen as a welcome boost for the area.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Councillor Ian Munro-Price, left, spokes-man for economic development described the figures as fantastic.
He said: “That’s excellent and we are such a tight-knit area that any drop in unemployment is brilliant.
“This seems quite a significant change, certainly since the previous month.
“It’s fantastic that we’re doing so much better than our immediate neighbours as well.”
He added: “It’s definitely excellent news that it’s going the right way.
“It’s still a shame to see any unemployment and my thoughts are with those people who are looking for work.”
The number of claimants in West Dorset is also significantly lower than it was in 2011, the latest figures show a change of 10 per cent down from 712 to 639.
In Weymouth and Portland there is a drop from 955 in August 2011 to 901 in August 2012.
The current rate of unemployed people in the borough at 3.2 per cent is lower than the national average of 3.8 per cent.
Clint Davies, of Tophill , Portland, right, has been unemployed for around three years.
He said: “I’ve done all sorts, from labouring and building work to bar and kitchen stuff.
“I had some temporary work during the Olympics but I haven’t found anything full time. If the figures show unemployment is down I think it was only during the Olympics.”
The 25-year-old added: “I know a lot of people who found work then and are back in the same boat again now.”