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Employment figures in North Devon and Torridge highest for several years

By NDJPhilippa  |  Posted: August 16, 2013

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Councillors at Torridge District Council and North Devon Council have spoken out about figures revealing employment in each area is at the highest level for several years.

The latest employment figures were released by the Department for Work and Pensions earlier this week.

They figures showed in July there were 913 claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA) in North Devon compared to 1,423 in January. The last time the figure was this low for claimants in North Devon was in 2008 when the figure went down to 843.

The number of people who claimed JSA in Torridge in July was 932 compared to 1,217 in January 2013. The last time they were this low was in July 2011 when it was 925.

Councillor Philip Collins, the leader of Torrridge District Council, said: “This is certainly good news for the people of Torridge though we must remember that we are in the middle of the summer season so the figures may only be temporarily improved.

“But it certainly is a move in the right direction but as Torridge has the lowest average annual pay in the UK does that mean more people are employed on low wages?

“The council continues to work hard to regenerate the local economy permanently - Caddsdown Phase 2 has been sold and with heavy investment in the new AgriBusiness centre in Holsworthy and Brunswick Wharf in Bideford we hope for continued steady growth.

“We have also held business forums so that we can talk to local businesses about what we can do to help, and our planning team are always open to new ideas.

The executive member for economic regeneration at North Devon Council Councillor Malcolm Prowse, said: “This is great news for North Devon.

“As a seasonal district, we can't be complacent as we would traditionally expect levels to drop around now anyway, in time for the summer holidays.

“However, last month's figures are even better than this time last year. So it really does reflect a step in the right direction overall.”

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