UNEMPLOYMENT rates for Swindon give good reason for optimism about prospects for the town's job market, it has been claimed.

The latest figures of the Department for Work & Pensions show a fall of 2,134 benefit claimants in Swindon compared to five years ago, a 37 per cent decrease, and a decrease of 589 among people aged 18-24.

But the number of people claiming for unemployment benefits in Swindon has increased compared to last year. There are 609 aged 18-24, up three per cent compared to last year, and 3,564 all adults, which is up seven per cent for the same period of time.

According to Justin Tomlinson, MP for North Swindon, and parliamentary under-secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions, this slight increase does not reflect the number of people out of work as some of them have been moved to universal credits legacy benefits.

Mr Tomlinson claimed that in nearly 10 years, there was a real improvement in providing jobs in Swindon and across the UK.

“Since 2010, there are 11,000 more people in work in Swindon,” he said.

“I will work very closely to local businesses to make sure that this positive trend continues.”

“I also welcome that the wage growth is actually stronger in the UK.

Last year he said: “We are starting to see wage growth, which will significantly help people share the benefits of a growing economy.”

The town has shown great progress in offering more suitable vacancies for people seeking jobs, according to the department for work and pensions.

Julie Marshall, Swindon Job Centre’s work coach manager added: “New businesses are coming to Swindon, creating new jobs.

“Swindon is very well located for jobs, with a great connection to London and Bristol, so people are prepared to travel.

“Overall, employers will always look for enthusiastic people. There is a lack of applicants, but we provide extra supports to people looking for jobs.”

Along the town having a new multi-million-pound snow centre at North Star, which will create jobs, BMW is setting out to recruit 40 apprentices at sites including Swindon and Oxford. Armed forces and education are both recruiting this year. This month, Apollo Care started recruiting teaching staff and assistants for the education sector in Swindon. Despite the challenges facing retail, new opportunities are being created.

The UK has continued to beat its unemployment rate, reaching 4.0 per cent, the lowest since 1975.

“There are 328,000 more people in work over the past year, almost entirely driven by full-time jobs at the government delivers an economy that works for the British people,” said Minister of State for Employment Alok Sharman. “Our pro-business policies have helped boost private sector employment by 3.8m since 2010, and as the Resolution Foundation’s latest report shows, ‘the jobs-boom has helped some of the most disadvantaged groups find employment’ proving opportunities across society.”