Unemployment fell again this month as it continued its record downward run.
Benefits claims for jobseekers in Brighton and Hove dropped under the 4,000 mark for the first time since records began in 1992. And the number of young jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) claimants plummeted to levels not seen since the pre-recession days of 2004.
Long-term unemployment was also down, falling by 35% generally and 47% in the 18-24-year-old age-group, compared to July 2013.
Tourism in the city has grown faster and gained more jobs than any other seaside resort in the UK and accounts for around 25% of the workforce.
Creative industries, which equate to more than 20% of the economy, are thought to be helping the strong figures.
The positive picture was echoed across Sussex where JSA claims fell by 31% (6,881) compared to this time last year.
Steve Benwell, employment and skills manager for Brighton and Hove Jobcentre Plus, said: “The latest figures have shown a really encouraging fall in unemployment, and particularly youth unemployment, with the largest annual fall since records began 30 years ago.
“We have been particularly successful in supporting the long-term unemployed, working with partners and employers across the city to help give young jobseekers the skills and experience they need to compete in today’s labour market. “Over the course of the past year we have helped over 500 young people gain valuable work experience with a wide range of employers.
“This is transformative, not just for those we have helped, but for the city as a whole.”
One partner is Proactive Training and Skills Services, which helps young jobseekers get training and experience in the creative industries.
Around 65% of those attending the courses have gone on to into sustainable employment.
Jenny Holmes, 22, who took the course and found work in a media company within days of finishing, said: “I had been a bit put off work by the constant rejections from local businesses.
“Although I had the talent, I lacked the experience or a professional portfolio to be able to showcase my work and get taken seriously. The course provided both these elements, which made all the difference in me getting work.”
Joe Davenport, director of Proactive, said: “We have extensive employer networks across the city, and we deliver training programmes that match up the aspirations of the jobseekers with the needs of the employers.
“We are very proud of our working relationship with Jobcentre Plus and our high outcome rates”.