Latest figures show youngsters never had it so good when it comes to looking for work across East Cambridgeshire and Fens

Julia Nix - JobCentre Plus district manager

Julia Nix - JobCentre Plus district manager - Credit: Archant

Plunging unemployment rates has given those youngsters still looking for work in Fenland a bigger choice than ever, according to new Government statistics.

In January only 60 young people aged 18-24 were classified by the Department of Work and Pensions as being “completely unemployed”, a drop of some 70 per cent on 2016 when 200 were out of work.

Julia Nix, district manager, Work Services Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions, said the like for like figures needed to reflect some variations – particularly where linked to Universal Credit- but it was still a “massive” drop.

With vacancy rates at levels not seen for years she said it was “’a job seekers’ market unlike, for instance, only seven or eight years ago when it was an ‘employers’ market’”.

Across Fenland and including young people the out of work total is 390 compared to 670 a year ago.

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She said jobs were becoming available in the Ely and Cambridge travel to work area across a spectrum of industries but particularly encouraging were vacancies for IT and business services.

Health and education was also a key employer with many roles available and within the customer service market the opening of places such as Ely leisure village enhanced opportunities for young people especially.

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Numbers out of work in Ely – that includes Littleport and Soham- show five more people in January were without work this year compared to 2016. However the total of 25 young people within the 18-24 age groups was still exceptionally low.

“We need to continue to do everything we can to ensure people can get better jobs and more skills and that’s why we remain committed to supporting them,” she said.

Secretary of State Damian Green said: “With employment at its highest rate since records began, and unemployment at its lowest in over a decade, we remain in a position of strength.

“Our on-going welfare reforms will continue to incentivise work and make sure the system is fair to all those who need it and those who pay for it.

“There’s good news in the East of England where there’s a near record number of people in work at 3.03 million and a near record high of 1.4 million women in work.”

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