THE number of people claiming out-of-work benefits has fallen again in Thurrock.

But youth unemployment in the borough remains relatively high. Despite falling by 0.4 per cent in the last month, 6.4 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds are claiming job-seekers allowance.

This is significantly higher than both the East of England and Great Britain averages, which are 4.3 and 4.9 per cent, respectively.

Just 3.1 per cent of people aged between 16 and 64 are now claiming job-seekers allowance however, a fall of 0.2 per cent - or 150 people - from February to March.

That means the number of people looking for work in Thurrock is now at its lowest rate since December 2008, when the recession began to tighten its grip.

The average percentage of people claiming the out-of-work benefit in the East of England is 2.2 per cent, meaning Thurrock is still some way short of the regional average.

The average for Great Britain is 2.9 per cent. 

Statistics released by the Office of National Statistics today also revealed that weekly earnings have edged above inflation, after six years of falling real wages.

Weekly wages, including bonuses, rose by 1.7% in the year to February, up from 1.4% in January.

Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), fell to 1.6 per cent, it was announced earlier this week.

What do you think? Do you feel better or worse off now than in recent years? Are you aged between 16 and 24 and struggling to get a job? Have you recently got a job? Whatever your circumstances, get in touch. We're keen to hear YOUR experiences and thoughts. Drop me an email:, tweet me @GazetteMatt or call 01375 411501.