UNEMPLOYMENT in Devon has fallen for the third consecutive month and is now 15 per cent down on last year, according to the latest figures.

Claimants of Job Seeker’s Allowance fell during June by 150 compared to the previous month and now number 3,087, the lowest figure on record.

The figure is a 15 per cent, or 529, fall on June 2015, the previous year.

In Teignbridge, the number of claimants for June stands at 491, compared with June last year when there were 613.

The June figure is also 13 down on the previous month.

Youth claimant numbers across Devon, those aged 24 and under, fell by 30 claimants between May and June 2016.

Devon County Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, cabinet member for economy and growth, said: ‘It is great to see JSA claimants continuing to fall across Devon.

‘While falls are to be expected around June, as the summer tourist season begins, it is nevertheless encouraging to see levels consistently at their lowest on record, following on the back of substantial reductions in JSA claimants over the last few years.

‘At a time when Devon and the country are entering a period of change however, there is no room for complacency. 

‘As a council we continue to collaborate on LEP-wide schemes, aiming to boost productivity, inward investment and employment; as well as promoting Devon as a place to visit and invest.

‘This includes successful bids for Government grants for investment in ultrafast broadband, as well as to the Government’s Growth Deal package for investment in infrastructure across Devon.

‘Our Devon Delivers business promotion grant continues to help business tap into growing markets, while at the same time backing schemes aiming to reduce unemployment, boost wages and increase the diversity of our economy.

‘This is in addition to our network of Work Hubs which are providing valuable shared employment space for start-ups, and our countywide Enterprise in Schools Grant, seeking to boost entrepreneurial spirit in our schools.’

Employment minister Damian Hinds said: ‘We’re determined to make Britain a country that works for everyone not just the privileged few.

‘This includes helping more people of all ages and abilities to get into and stay in work. 

‘There’s good news in the south west where there are more than 2.7 million people in work with an employment rate of 77.9 per cent, one of the highest rates for any UK region.

‘Clearly good progress has been made and I’m encouraged to take forward to agenda to create an even more resilient labour market.’