At 1.3 percent - unemployment keeps falling

The total number of people recorded for this August was 596, which equates to a 1.3 per cent unemployment rate. It marks a fall of 0.1 per cent from July and is the lowest unemployment figure since September 2008, just after the island was gripped by the global economic downturn.

The figures are the latest to be released by the government and cover the economically active section of the population who are registered as unemployed.

Construction was the sector with the highest number of people (53) seeking work. Catering and entertainment, with 103 vacancies, offered the highest number of work opportunities. In the catering industry, there were 34 people unemployed and in retail, 31. Curiously, at 94, retail also had the second highest number of vacancies registered at the job centre. Medical (79), e-gaming (38) and manufacturing (21) were the other sectors with most vacancies.

Almost twice as many men were unemployed as women with 394 (66 per cent) men out of work compared with 202 (34 per cent) women.

The month of August saw 160 new people signing on while 184 people left the unemployment register. Not included in the figures are 40 people under 18 who are registered as unemployed but not claiming benefits.

From 2005 until the crash in 2008, the unemployment figures for the island remained consistent at around the 500 to 600 level. They started rising at the end of 2008, peaking in March 2013 at just over 1,200. In January 2010 they topped the 1,000 marks for the first time since September 1996.

The total in January 2016 was 873 and it has fallen every month since then.

Numerically, the east of the island has the largest number of people unemployed, 415, which is almost 1.4 per cent of its population. In the north, almost 1.8 per cent of its active workforce is unemployed and this equates to 147 people,

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