The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) fell in all but three local authorities in Great Britain and Northern Ireland between September 2012 and September 2013.
This saw 40,000 people stop claiming the benefit, the biggest single-month drop since 1997, and also the first time since 1997 that claims fell in every local authority in Great Britain – excluding Northern Ireland.
Ten local authorities saw drops of 30% or more, according to the government document, available online. These were led by Stratford-on-Avon (35%) and Worthing, Huntingdonshire and North Devon (all at 32%).
The biggest total falls were seen in Birmingham (5,145), Glasgow (3,485) and County Durham (2,920).
Six local authorities in Northern Ireland – Ballymena, Belfast, Coleraine, Fermanagh, Larne and Limavady – are among the 11 local authorities where drops in JSA claims was 3% or lower.
Minister for employment Esther McVey said: “The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance is down in every local authority over the past year. Off the back of a global recession, this is not something that should be sniffed at.
“It’s a huge testament to the tenacity and determination of business owners and workers in this country.”
While good news continues to come for both the job market and the economy as a whole – this is the second time the late 1990s have been the comparator – with the news last month that the level of temp billings from UK recruiters had hit the highest rate of acceleration since 1998.