LATEST figures have shown unemployment has gone down in Bolton as further job opportunities have opened since the pandemic.

The statistics show more than 700 more young people are now in work in the borough, compared to last year, with more than 2,800 more people in work overall.

This means unemployment among youngsters has dropped by a quarter compared to last year.

Penny Applegate, DWP Bolton partnership manager, said: “The job market is absolutely booming at the moment. The easing of the pandemic helps tremendously, with young people in particular getting back into work.”

She added: “It’s a great picture for getting into work at the moment and the figures are showing that.”

In total 2,816 more people are in work compared to last year, 2,223 of them aged 18 to 24.

The figures show what the DWP calls the “alternative claimant count” which it says is much closer to the real figure unemployment figure than measuring Universal Credit claimants.

Ms Applegate said: “This is much nearer to the true figure of people who are unemployed, who are seeking work and who need to have work and who are also on Universal Credit. So it’s much closer to the old unemployment figures.”

The DWP credits the revival of large sectors of the economy with helping to drive the fall in unemployment, while the Kickstart scheme is still available for firms looking to extend job offers to youngsters. The deadline for companies wishing to take part is December 17, while young people have until March 24 to register their interest.

Employment minister Mims Davies said: “With unemployment falling once again, and another record rise in the number of workers on employer payrolls, it’s clear our plan to create, support and protect jobs is working.

“As we enter the next phase of recovery, the £500m boost to our plan for jobs will continue to deliver more skills and opportunities for people up and down the country whilst crucially helping to fill vacancies."