THE impending opening of IKEA at Calcot is being attributed to a fall in West Berkshire’s Job Seekers Allowance figures
Figures released yesterday (Wednesday) show that 422 people in the district were claiming JSA in November – around 0.4 per cent of the population.
Of the 422 registered claimants 259 were male and 163 were female. Sixty were aged between 18 and 24.
Employer and partnership advisor at Job Centre Reading, Sarah Swanson, said that the organisation was working closely with IKEA to help people find work.
IKEA Reading, as the store will be known, will bring 350 jobs to the area, including logistics, customer services and catering roles. The store, at Pincents Lane is under construction and is expected to open in Summer 2016.
Mrs Swanson also said that there was a high success rate of people finding work at Marks and Spencers and McDonald’s in Newbury.
West Berkshire remains one of the lowest authorities in Berkshire for unemployment.
Compared to the five other authorities in the county Bracknell Forest had 521 people claiming JSA in November (0.7 per cent of the population); Reading 1,323 (1.2); Slough 1,164 (1.2); Windsor and Maidenhead 572 (0.6); and Wokingham 458 (0.5).
The November figures for West Berkshire show a drop of 4.9 per cent on October’s figure of 444 claiming JSA.
A year ago 631 people were claiming JSA (0.6 per cent of the district population) a 33.1 per cent drop.
Five years ago the number was 1,814 (1.8 per cent of the population) a drop of 76.7 per cent.