Leeds: Dramatic fall in unemployment

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UNEMPLOYMENT fell dramatically in Leeds last month as the economic recovery continues.

Figures released showed the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in the city fell by more than 1,000 between October and November, the biggest drop since 2010.

The positive news was reflected across the country, with UK unemployment down by almost 100,000 in the last three months – the biggest fall in more than a decade.

The news was hailed by Prime Minister David Cameron and local Conservative MPs, who said it showed the Government’s economic plan is working.

Keighley and Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins said: “This is very good news, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.

“While there can never be any room for complacency, these figures stand as yet more evidence that confidence continues to build in the economy, locally and nationally, with employers now recruiting in greater numbers than for some considerable time.”

Across Yorkshire, the figures show more than 100,000 extra people are now in work compared with 2010.

Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew said: “It is great news there are 113,000 more people in work in Yorkshire since 2010. That’s 113,000 more people getting a regular pay packet, giving them the chance to give themselves and their family a more secure future.

“Of course there is still more to do, but these figures show the Conservatives’ long-term plan to fix the economy is working, getting people off benefits and into work, and delivering a more secure future.”

Business leaders also celebrated the news – but Labour warned wages are still too low compared with rising inflation.

Rachel Reeves, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary and the MP for Leeds West, said: “This fall in unemployment is welcome, but families are facing a cost-of-living crisis. On average, working people are now £1,600-a-year worse off under this out-of-touch Government.

“Today’s figures show prices have now risen much faster than wages for 41 of the 42 months since David Cameron became Prime Minister. And youth unemployment is still unacceptably high at over 900,000.”

Peter McNestry, chair of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust

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