Unemployment in Preston has fallen by nearly a fifth in the last year, reflecting the national trend which has seenjobless figures drop to a seven-year low.
The number of unemployed people in the city claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance or Universal Credit now stands at 2,824, down from 3,510 a year ago.
That represents a 19 per cent fall.
In Leyland, that figure is 525, down from 793 in 2014 – a drop of 33 per cent.
Preston and Leyland JobCentre Plus manager Susan Heaton said her staff were feeling confident that things were continuing to move in the right dirrction.
As she spoke, home, leisure and garden store The Range was interviewing candidates for more than 120 jobs at new tores in Preston and Leyland.
Ms Heaton said: “It’s a very positive atmosphere in here at the moment. Everyone is feeling very optimistic.
“The jobs that we have are available in our centres are predominantly full time.”
Nationally, the jobless total dipped by 97,000 in the quarter to last December. At 1.86 million that is almost half a million down on a year ago.
The national jobless rate is now 5.7 per cent. But the North West still stands higher at 6.5 per cent.