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Sussex jobless figure falls again
Unemployment in Sussex has fallen for the fourth month in a row.
In the last three months alone the number of people who are jobless has dropped by more than 2,500.
In June it fell across Sussex by more than 700.
In Brighton and Hove the number of jobless hit a six-month low at 6,296. Year-on-year unemployment in the city has fallen by 11%.
But business leaders have warned that the fall masks the underlying weakness of the local economy.
Julia Chanteray, president of the Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce, said that although it was good to see that unemployment was still falling in the city, it was hard to make any predictions for the future.
She said: “On the one hand joblessness is improving, though not very quickly, and the city’s economy continues to punch above its weight.
“On the other hand we’ve yet to see the real impact of this year’s school leavers and graduates, who will be hit particularly hard by unemployment.”
The figures highlight the divide in unemployment across the county.
In Adur the unemployment rate has remained at 2.6% for four months and in Chichester it is 1.9%.
A total of 3,311 people are looking for work in Hastings – 6% of the borough’s working population – while in Worthing the number of jobless has fallen by 3.2% since the start of the year to 1,924.
Experts suggested that unemployment would rise over the next 18 months but that it might not now hit the 2.9 million peak that the British Chambers of Commerce had predicted.
Wendy Bell, general manager at Sussex Enterprise, the county’s chamber of commerce, said continued difficulties in the eurozone were causing problems for firms hoping to export goods at a time when austerity measures were cutting household budgets back home.
She said: “The latest unemployment figures are encouraging following the recent pessimism about the economy. It is clear that the private sector is creating jobs while public sector employment is shrinking.
“These positive job figures must be supported by important policy measures, such as more deregulation and improved access to finance, to help businesses drive recovery.”