Harborough district among the best for job prospects

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The number of people out of work in the Harborough District Council area is one of the lowest in the UK, the latest figures show.

Unemployment in the area has fallen by almost a third in a year, new Government figures reveal. That means the unemployment rate in the Harborough area - at 0.5 per cent - is the lowest in the East Midlands.

And in fact of around 400 local authorities in the UK, only four have a lower unemployment rate than Harborough.

Harborough MP Sir Edward Garnier said one reason for the low figure was Harborough’s plethora of small firms which made the area “more flexible”.

The UK average is currently running at 1.9 per cent, almost four times higher than the Harborough figure.

There are currently just 256 people out of work in the Harborough local authority area, which includes Lutterworth and Broughton Astley.

This compares with a figure of 364 people who were out of work in the area last year, a drop of 30 per cent in a year.

And the fall in the last five years is 67 per cent, according to Government statistics.

Sir Edward Garnier said: “I think there are a number of factors here. First of all, the population in the area is highly educated and skilled with historically reasonably high employment and a culture of going to work.

“Secondly, we have never been dependent on one industry. Then there are many businesses that have fewer than 20 employees and a turnover under a million. Smaller businesses are more flexible and can adjust to economic conditions more quickly.

“Another thing I think we should be proud of is that the manufacturing sector is coming back. I’ve also noticed a lot of high-tech businesses. And Magna Park is an engine of economic activity

“And of course Harborough generally is a hugely attractive place to live and has good communication links.”

Harborough District Council leader Blake Pain added: “We can’t claim credit for employment figures, but we have worked tirelessly over the last three or four years to do what we can to help maintain local economic growth.”