The UK's economy is going from strength to strength. Full credit to the Job Centre Plus team, and a shout out to last years Jobs Fair.
People have more money in their back pockets, the unemployment rate is now 4.9% and in both Hexham and across the country, the number of JSA (Job Seekers' Allowance) and UC (Universal Credit) claimants has fallen.
In the UK as a whole, there have been 36,326 fewer JSA and UC claims in the year to June. According to a DWP report produced in July, this reflects a 4.7% drop nationally. But what is even more staggering is the 15.5% drop we've seen in our very own area. Times have been hard in the last few years, so it is heartening to see that Hexham, as well as the country as a whole, is bouncing back so exuberantly.
Fewer people are unemployed. Fewer of us are only just able to pull together the money required to pay the bills because the Conservative governments Living Wage has seen millions get a pay rise.