THE number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Wirral fell rose last month, according to figures which show employment at record levels nationally.

Data from the Office for National Statistics, out today, shows the number of Wirral claimants stood at 5,580 in April.

According to the ONS, 32.3 million people are now in work nationally.

Employment increased by 197,000 in the quarter to March to 32.3 million, the highest figure since records began in 1971, giving a record rate of 75.6%.

The number of self-employed workers fell by 33,000 to 4.75 million.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said: "Since 2010 we have seen 3.2 million more people move into work right across the UK.

"Youth unemployment has fallen by over 40% and the unemployment rate at its joint lowest since 1975.

"Today's figures once again cement that turnaround, with an employment rate of 75.6%, and on average over 1,000 people each and every day, since 2010, getting a job.

"With wages growing faster than inflation and increases in the personal tax allowance, not only are more people bringing home a pay packet but they are keeping more of their hard-earned money for themselves and their families."