The number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Preston fell by more than 100 in the last month, new figures have shown.
The latest Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA) statistics, published yesterday, showed the number of people claiming the benefit fell from 3,424 in September to 3,300 last month.
In neighbouring South Ribble, the numbers fell from 1,474 to 1,455 in the same period with figures down from 1,838 claimants to 1,793 in Chorley.
Employment minister Mark Hoban said the national figures, which showed a drop of 49,000 to 2.51m jobless in the quarter to September, showed the Government’s “welfare reforms are working.”
The figure is the lowest since last summer.
Mr Hoban said: “These figures suggest that our welfare reforms are working, with fewer people on long-term sickness benefits and more people either in or looking for work.”
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne said: “There is now fresh evidence that Britain is becoming divided - long-term unemployment rose yet again, so did long-term youth unemployment and unemployment in two-thirds of England is higher than it was at time of the general election.
“Over a third of the unemployed have been out of work for over a year. These are precisely the people the Government’s flagship Work Programme were supposed to help. But the programme is in total gridlock because jobcentre staff have lost all faith in it.
“Half of the jobs created since 2010 are part time and the squeeze on families is getting tighter and tighter.”