Unemployment is still falling in Lancashire despite a recent increase in the overall regional figures, a Jobcentre boss said today.
Nationally, unemployment has increased for the second month in a row, reaching 1.85 million.
The North West jobless total went up by 11,000 in the quarter to June, now standing at 213,000 or six per cent of the workforce.
But Amanda Jakeman, Jobcentre manager for Preston and surrounding districts, said more and more people were getting back into work.
“The overall trend is still downwards,” she said.
“The work coaches and all our staff are passionate and proud of what they do.”
In Preston there are now 1,921 people out of work, down seven per cent from a year ago.
In South Ribble that number is 864, down 10 per cent from a year ago.
In the 18 to 24 age category, Amanda said the jobless figures were 489 in Preston and 254 in South Ribble.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said it was possible the jobs market was “levelling off”.
Other figures showed that nationally the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance fell by 4,900 last month to 792,400 following a slight increase in June.
There were 31 million people in work in the latest quarter. That was 63,000 fewer than the three months to March, but 354,000 more than a year ago.
ONS statistician David Freeman said: “While it’s too early to conclude that the jobs market is levelling off, these figures certainly strengthen that possibility.
“Growth in pay, however, remains solid.”
Average earnings increased by 2.4 per cent in the year to June, down by 0.8 per cent on the previous month, but still ahead of inflation.