By Ian Dipple Thursday 24 January 2013 Updated: 25/01 09:00
UNEMPLOYMENT in Redditch has hit its lowest level for four years.
The number of people claiming jobseekers' allowance fell for the fifth month in a row dropping by 41 between November and December to 1,775. The last time it was higher was in November 2008. There are now more than 250 people off the benefit compared to the same time 12 months ago.
It means the percentage of the population now out of work is now 3.2 per cent, below the national and regional average.
Youth unemployment has also hit a four year low with 450 18 to 24-year-olds out of work.
But there is still about 500 more people claiming jobseekers' allowance in Redditch than before the global financial crisis began in 2007.
Redditch MP Karen Lumley said: "Last year the number of new business start-ups in Redditch increased by 14 per cent, creating new jobs and new investment showing how the Government strategy to get people back into work is working."
The news comes during a mixed week for retailers in the Redditch Town Centre area.
Restructuring company Hilco this week acquired the debt of troubled music and DVD chain HMV and is favourite to buy the bulk of the firm's 239 stores from administrators Deloitte, boosting the prospects the store in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre can be saved.
Supermarkets are also reported to be looking at buying a small number of stores to turn into local neighbourhood grocery chains. HMV has also started accepting gift cards again.
But at least five jobs will go from the town's Blockbuster store after administrators announced it is to close.
Another gap in the Kingfisher will also appear tomorrow (Saturday) after Game revealed it was closing one of its two stores. It follows the company's exit from administration last year and the scrapping of the Gamestation brand.
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