THE unemployment rate is at its lowest since 1975 as more and more people find work in Brighton and Hove.

There are now 2,845 people on the claimant count in the city, which is down by 120 from this time last year.

This compares with a claimant count of 6336 in 2010 - a fall of 55 per cent.

Youth unemployment continues to fall in Brighton.

There are now 530 young people aged 18-24 on the claimant count, down nine per cent year on year.

Steve Benwell, relationship manager at the Department for Work and Pensions based in the city, said: “The fall in youth unemployment in particular continues to be a big success story for Brighton and Hove.

“The unemployment rate in the city remains under the average for the south-east, which is quite remarkable in itself, and youth unemployment has fallen by two-thirds over the past five years.”

Mr Benwell said the local economy continues to be extremely buoyant,.

He said: “Retail, construction, hospitality, care, security and facilities management sectors are all showing significant jobs growth.

“Construction companies such as Laing O’Rourke, Henry and Focus Group are all using the jobcentre to recruit significant numbers.

“Brighton Jobcentre hosted a jobsfair on November and employers such as Boots, the NHS, Mears Care and Jury’s Inn were all there.”

The recent demise of Monarch Airlines has caused some problems locally.

He saikd: “We have seen around 25 people making claims to benefit following the liquidation of Monarch Airlines.

“The good news is that many of the other airlines, such as TUI, Virgin, Emirates and British Airways, are recruiting and keen to receive applications from former Monarch employees.

“There was a huge jobsfair with more than 40 employers in attendance at Redhill Jobcentre on October 25 for anyone interested in any aspect of employment at Gatwick Airport, followed up by another jobsfair at the airport itself on November 15.”

Universal Credit is now rolling out in Brighton and Hove and Mr Benwell said there is help out there.

He said: “Those living in the BN3 postcode and needing to make a claim to benefit have been making claims to Universal Credit since the October 4 with the BN2 postcode to follow on November 29 and BN1 from January 17 next year.

“We are working with a variety of partner organisations to ensure that we are able to support people locally who need to make a claim.

“For example, as well as our own staff, we will have the Citizens Advice Bureau on hand in Brighton Jobcentre to help support claimants digitally, and we will also have personal budgeting advice and support available.

“For those who need it, people can apply for an advance payment, and these are usually paid within five working days, and it is obviously a positive move that Universal Credit telephone lines will become Freephone this month.

“The good news for those claiming Universal Credit is that it encourages people to take on more hours and keep more of their hard-earned money, rather than facing the benefits cliff edge and the 16 hours rule as happens with Jobseekers Allowance.

“In addition, Universal Credit enables claimants to take more control over their claim.

“They have online access to their own benefit account and can message a named service centre representative who is handling their claim.

“They can electronically update any changes in circumstances and they can also use their account to message and engage with their personal work coach without necessarily having to ring up or visit the jobcentre as they would have had to do in the past.”

Nationally unemployment is at 4.3 per cent, the lowest since 1975.

The figures released by the Office for National Statistics also show that there are now 32.10 million people in work, 317,000 more than last year.

These figures have been driven by increases in full-time and permanent work, and in the last year there are 20,000 fewer people relying on zero hour contracts.

The female employment rate is also at a near record 70.7 per cent with more than 15 million women in work.

However, mothers aged between 16 and 49 are still less likely to be in employment than women without dependent children of the same age.

One area of focus for the Government is therefore getting more women into work and in the process boosting their pay income.