THE amount of unemployed people claiming benefits in the borough has fallen over the last five years, according to new figures.

There are some 8,827 claiming Universal Credit while on the hunt for a job in Bolton. Just over 1,400 of them are aged 18 to 24.

The total number of people claiming Universal Credit, both those looking for work and those who are not, now stands at more than 13,000 in Bolton.

But the number of people claiming the benefit and job searching in the borough has dropped by more than 600 compared to five years ago.

Universal Credit has been rolling out in Bolton since November of last year, meaning there are new claimants who have changed onto a Universal Credit plan from their previous benefit arrangement.

Jobcentre bosses are welcoming the news that figures are lower than five years ago despite the extra people included by the new system.

Bolton Department for Work and Pension manager Penny Applegate said: "Even though we have got extra claimants now, the figure is still six per cent lower the number of claimants five years ago.

"The 18 to 24-year-old figure is also five per cent less than is was five years ago."

The manager announced the latest roster of jobs and help that could be a match for people in Bolton on the lookout for work.

In the wake of Thomas Cook's collapse, the Jobcentre is putting on additional support for staff who have lost their jobs, aiming to get them back into suitable work as soon as possible.

Bolton's Jobcentre team will be helping to run a jobs fair at the University of Bolton stadium on November 1, between 10am and 1pm.

The Blackhorse Street Jobcentre is also trying to make its services more accessible over the coming weeks.

Staff are taking part in a 100 day challenge to help those with disabilities get into work.

People who feel they need to visit the offices at a quiet time are being invited to attend specific sessions, with 9am to 10am on the first Tuesday of each month being left for people with disabilities and extra needs.

Those interested in this option should email ahead to arrange the visit — emails can be directed to