The number of people claiming jobseekers’ allowance in Leeds has fallen to its lowest level since the economic crash in 2008.
In the latest sign the economy is starting to pick up after years in the doldrums, new figures show the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits fell by 1,795 people over the three months to September.
The Office for National Statistics said there are now 21,920 people claiming JSA in Leeds - the lowest level since December 2008.
Local Tory MPs hailed the figures as proof the economy has finally turned a corner.
Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew said: “I am pleased that the number of unemployed people in Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough has continued to fall.
“There is still a long way to go until our economy and job opportunities are at full strength, but this is certainly a positive step in the right direction.”
Across Yorkshire as a whole, unemployment fell by 6,000 people over the three month period, while 25,000 new jobs were created around the region.
Employment Minister Esther McVey said the region is now one of the best-performing in the country.
“As a whole for Yorkshire and Humber, I think this is one of the best-performing areas,” she said.
“We’ve seen 65,000 more (people) in a job over the year, 25,000 in the last period, unemployment down 6,000... That is a significantly performing area.”
Across Britain as a whole, unemployment fell by 18,000.
Labour said the drop was “small” and warned that most people were not feeling the effect of the recovery in their pockets, with wages barely rising in most parts of the economy.
Separate figures released yesterday showed inflation is higher in Britain than anywhere else in Europe - while wages are growing at the rate of just 0.7 per cent.
Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “The small fall in unemployment is welcome, but there are still far too many people chasing too few jobs.
“And for those in work, the cost of living crisis continues, with prices now rising faster than wages for 39 out of the 40 months since David Cameron became Prime Minister.
“Working people are now on average more than £1,500 a year worse off under this out-of-touch Government.”