STROUD MP Neil Carmichael has welcomed figures showing that unemployment in the district fell to 1.8 per cent in March.

Despite disappointing news in the constituency for Dursley based company Lister Petter, the number of unemployed claimants was 76 lower than in February and 365 lower than at the same point last year.

Youth unemployment fell by 33.3 per cent and long-term unemployment – those claiming for more than 12 months – fell by 32.2 per cent over the year.

This week the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has forecast growth in the UK to be 2.9 per cent this year.

Neil Carmichael also noted that this fall in unemployment is in parallel with a further fall in inflation to 1.6 per cent, and a rise in wages between December and February of 1.7 per cent.

“My aspiration for the Valleys and Vale is full employment,” said Mr Carmichael.

“However we also want a situation where wages and salaries reflect increased productivity and more hard-working families have more spending power thanks to changes in taxation.

“The coalition Government’s long-term economic plan is all about making sure the real economy grows in a sustainable way.

“To this end, the Festival of Manufacturing and Engineering is making sure young people can acquire the right skills to have fulfilling careers in a growing economy.”