unemployed numbers hit a new high

UNEMPLOYMENT in Market Rasen has seen one of the biggest rises in the county, new figures reveal.

The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show there are 13 per cent more people out of work in Market Rasen than there was at the same time last year – this means the area is now only second to Gainsborough when it comes to rising unemployment.

In September this year 305 people were unemployed in Market Rasen, Caistor and surrounding villages including Middle Rasen, North Kelsey, Grasby, Bigby and Thorganby. In September 2010 this figure was 271.

And this rise is six per cent above the county average and three per cent higher than the national year-on-year increase.

The overall unemployment rate in Market Rasen is still lower than average but Market Rasen’s MP Edward Leigh, West Linsdey council leader Burt Keimach and town mayor Ken Bridger are worried by the rising figures.

Mr Leigh said: “It’s worrying. The economy isn’t doing very well and Market Rasen is suffering like everywhere else, especially as it’s a small place and there are fewer employment opportunities.

“There’s no easy way out, I’m not a minister and I don’t have direct control over the economy.

“I want to make sure rural areas are not forgotten and even though the efforts of an individual are not going to make a big difference I will do all I can.”

Deputy director of Market Rasen lifelong learning centre the CG Partnership, Alison Bonnell, said unemployment is a problem for young people and a lot of older people who are suddenly finding themselves out of work for the first time.

She said: “We have seen a rise in the number of unemployed people needing help with CV writing and help using the internet to look for work.

“While unemployment in the area is a particular problem in the under 25s, many of the people we have seen have lots of experience and are facing unemployment for the first time in their life.

“People living in the villages outside Market Rasen are finding it difficult to get back into work, especially when they are reliant on expensive public transport to get to Grimsby and Lincoln to work.”

Former De Aston School student, 22–year–old Callum Cunningham, was made redundant from his window cleaning job in April. Since then he has applied for 61 jobs and been knocked back 61 times.

Read his story inside – turn to page five.