WE WANT TO WORK: Andrew Smith, business editor - 'unemployment is falling'

UNEMPLOYMENT in Oxfordshire is falling steadily with the number of people signing on the dole dropping in the last six months.

Official figures show there are 6,889 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the county, the lowest figure since December 2008.

But while that statistic is welcome, the number is still too high.

As the Oxford Mail campaign has shown there are many people who are out of a job through no fault of their own.

They are not workshy skivers wanting to live off state benefits but people who really want to work and improve their lives.

The 12 individuals whose stories have run in the Oxford Mail this week deserve a chance, but they are just the tip of the iceberg — thousands of others want to work given the right opportunity and preparation.

The employers we have spoken to have not only backed the campaign, but expressed a desire to become actively involved in a bid to match their vacancies with our jobseekers and those like them and that is to be welcomed.

In Oxfordshire we are in the fortunate position of having a thriving local economy that is bucking the national trend.

But employers need to be urged to match local Jobs with local people which will cut the dole queue and boost the county’s economic health still further.

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