THE number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance in Wirral has continued to fall according to figures out this week.

Office for National Statistics data shows 5,510 local people claimed the benefit in June - a drop of 389 on the previous month's 5,899.

The figures also show that, nationally, more than 30 million people are now in work.

Job vacancies are up by 30,000 to 648,000, an increase of more than 100,000 on a year ago, but there are 48,000 fewer than the pre-recession peak at the start of 2008.

Employment minister and Wirral West MP Esther McVey said: "With one of the highest employment rates ever, it's clear that the Government's long-term economic plan to help businesses create jobs and get people working again is the right one.

"With an employment rate which has never been higher, record women in work and more young people in jobs, the resilience of the country during the downturn is being rewarded.

"We know there is more to do, and the best way to do so is to go on delivering a plan that's creating growth and jobs."

Cllr Pat Hackett, Wirral's cabinet member for the economy, said: "It is very satisfying to see the number of people out of work in Wirral continue its long-term downward trend.

"Our rate of 2.8% is the lowest we have seen since December 2004, which is a remarkable achievement, and a sign of the healthy business environment we continue to develop.

“We are seeing success attracting businesses to Wirral, with the ongoing International Festival for Business and The Open Championship two globally significant events that are bringing leaders from important sectors including the automotive supply chain and offshore wind industry to the borough.

"I am particularly pleased by the figures for young people aged 18-24, which have fallen by a third over the course of a year, and outperformed the Liverpool City Region, regional and national averages.”

The leader of Wirral's Conservatives, Cllr Jeff Green said: "The latest job seekers allowance figures released for Wirral are really great news with the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance at its lowest level since December 2004.

"What is particularly pleasing is youth unemployment is down again and the level of 18 – 24 year olds claiming has reduced by nearly a third since June 2013.

"Despite the doom and gloom peddled by the majority of Merseyside politicians this is the clearest indication yet that the Government’s economic policies, being implemented on a local level by dedicated council staff, are working and benefitting all of Wirral’s residents."

Wirral South MP Alison McGovern said: "We all want unemployment to fall as it is good for individuals and also for the economy so I welcome any signs of this happening.

"However, we must not pretend that these figures reflect the wider underemployment problems that we have with zero hour contracts and concerns about living standards.

"I know from hearing from my constituents that young people are having a hard time finding work, and that in general people are finding things tough.

"It is these problems that Labour will focus on as well as helping people to get back into work."