THE number of people claiming unemployment benefit and universal credit in Barnsley was 3,750 in October, latest monthly figures show.

The figure was 11 per cent up on the same month last year, but 50 per cent down when compared to the same month five years ago.

Changes to the benefit system and the way figures are recorded mean some of those included in the figure will be in work but claiming universal credit - including those previously on housing benefit or tax credits.

The figure for those aged 18 to 24 claiming the same benefits is now 830, which is a two per cent increase from the same month last year, but a 66 per cent fall compared to five years ago.

Paul Boyd, from Jobcentre Plus, said the employment market in Barnsley was still very buoyant with large numbers of vacancies both across the borough, and just over the borders into other boroughs.

“The recruitment situation is looking very strong. The figures can be a little misleading in that they don’t give quite as clear a picture as they did - some of those counted in the figures who are on universal credit are actually working.

“But what’s clear is there’s a lot of work out there.”

XPO Logistics is currently recruiting to fill 500 positions at its ASOS warehouse in Grimethorpe, and call centre Webhelp at Manvers is also recruiting extensively.

Yorkshire Repak has recently filled 80 vacancies and is holding a final recruitment event to fill a final few vacancies on Wednesday from 10am at its premises on Summer Lane.

There will be an open event at Barnsley Job Centre on Tuesday November 28 from 1pm, a health and social care jobs fair next Thursday, November 23, from 10am to 2pm, also at the job centre, and then a disability and diversity jobs fair, at the Digital Media Centre, County Way, Barnsley, on December 7 from 2pm to 7pm.