THE number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the Ludlow constituency has fallen for the fourth month in a row in a positive sign that the post-pandemic economic recovery is underway.

In June 2021, there were 1,860 claimants in the Ludlow constituency, down 155 from the total in May.

This represents a fall of 2.2 per cent in the unemployment rate since claimants peaked in May last year at the height of the pandemic.

South Shropshire’s claimant rate, currently down to 3.9 per cent amongst 16-64 year olds, is also 1.7 per cent lower than the national claimant rate of 5.6 per cent.

Also, the rate has fallen for the area’s young people, with 50 fewer claimants in June than in May.

“The figures released are a promising indication that people in south Shropshire are increasingly returning to employment after an incredibly difficult 15 months,” said Philip Dunne, MP for Ludlow.

“I am encouraged by the number of young people in particular who have been able to stop claiming universal credit and I am sure this trend will continue as we rebuild from the pandemic as restrictions are eased.”

The number of people in the area out of work went up dramatically when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

This was partly as a result of the high number of jobs in the area linked to the tourism and hospitality sector that were especially badly hit.

The coming months will be vital to many businesses such as hotels, holiday accommodation, pubs and restaurants as they rebuild.