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Jobless figure up in Sussex as firms axe staff
3:50pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
Unemployment in Sussex has hit its highest level for nine months as firms cut staff to try to stay afloat.
In the last three months the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in the county has risen by 1,200.
In the last month alone the number in Sussex claiming JSA rose by more than 500, to the highest level since May last year.
In Brighton and Hove, the number of jobless people rose by more than 100 month-on-month and by a total of 216 over the last three months.
Tony Greenstein, secretary of Brighton and Hove Unemployed Workers Centre, said that more and more people in the city were struggling to find work.
He said: “Brighton hasn’t got a manufacturing base – we are very dependent on the retail sector, which has been hit particularly hard in recent months.
“We are seeing more and more people who are looking for work but are simply unable to find it because there is not a lot out there.
“Firms are trying to cut costs in all sorts of ways and the first way is to get rid of labour. It’s a vicious circle.”
Some business leaders urged the Government to do more to help Sussex firms defy the downturn and retain staff.
Wendy Bell, general manager at Sussex Enterprise, the county’s chamber of commerce, said: “Unless growth drastically improves, the private sector may not be able to continue creating enough jobs to meet the needs of the economy.
“The positive message we can take from these figures is that business is able to drive the recovery despite the challenges still facing the economy, both at home and abroad.
“However, we still need a clear and effective growth strategy that combines deregulation, measures to support exporters and the early creation of a business bank if we stand a chance of seeing a lasting recovery.”
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