Unemployment levels lower in nursery regions

Areas of the UK with the most nurseries have below average unemployment, Horticulture Week analysis shows.

Areas of the UK with the most nurseries have below average unemployment
Areas of the UK with the most nurseries have below average unemployment

Ministers have suggested more UK workers should replace migrant workers, which has led growers and industry representatives to say they are out of touch because few suitable local British people are willing and available to work in the nursery industry.

Lincolnshire represents large proportions of the national crop production area - 22 per cent of horticultural crops, 28 per cent of field vegetables and 40 per cent of bulbs and flowers, concentrated in the PE postcode area, which includes Spalding and South Holland.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in South Holland has dropped by 4.5 per cent in the past year, according to the latest Government figures. In August 2016, 635 people were registered as actively looking for work, a fall of 35 from the same month last year.

In South Kesteven, including Bourne and the Deepings, unemployment during the period fell by 11.7 per cent from 1,110 to 980, while Boston Borough - which covers Kirton, Swineshead and Wyberton - went down from 670 to 610, or 8.95 per cent.

Meanwhile in West Sussex, the area with the highest concentration of glasshouse production in the UK, unemployment has plummeted by around 20 per cent in the past year. Chichester and Bognor both have fewer than 500 people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, with West Sussex at around 4,000, down from 5,000 last year.

The parliamentary constituency of South Holland has a 1.2 per cent claimant rate. Boston and Skegness have a 1.8 per cent rate. Chichester has a one per cent rate and Bognor and Littlehampton have a 1.3 per cent rate.

The UK average is 1.9 per cent, which has remained flat over the past year. The east as a whole has a 3.2 per cent unemployment rate, compared with the British average of 4.9 per cent. The South East rate is 3.5 per cent.

The largest glasshouse growing area in the country, in Chichester and Arun, has a one per cent claimant count.


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