THE number of unemployed young people in our area has plummeted by almost a quarter in the past year, new figures have revealed.

Latest statistics show 570 people aged between 18 and 24 are claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance in the Clacton constituency.

It has fallen from 745 this time last year – a drop of 23.5 per cent.

The upturn in the economy as well as Tendring Council’s free parking scheme are being credited for bringing shoppers into the town centre and boosting jobs.

Clacton MP Douglas Carswell welcomed the boost for shops and jobs.

"I know how frustrating it can be for young people to find work,” he said.

“Efforts by the district council, the local job centre and training company Setec are producing results.

"Around one in four of those who were claiming JSA last year are now no longer looking for work.

"There are fewer unemployed people in Clacton today than a year ago - despite the issues of benefit migration that we have had.”

He praised the council’s parking scheme – which costs up to £300,000 a year to fund – for encouraging people to shop in the town centre.