THE number of people in work has reached a new record high, official figures said.
Unemployment and redundancies both fell in January – but the jobless total was up in the Huddersfield area.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics showed that employment rose by 175,000 to a record 29.4m in the three months to December.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell for the 16th month in a row in January, by 10,800 to 794,000.
This is the lowest figure since the summer of 1975.
Unemployment, including people not eligible for benefit, fell by 61,000 in the quarter to December to 1.61m, the lowest for almost two years.
The number of people classed as economically inactive – including those looking after a sick relative, on early retirement or who have given up looking for a job – also fell in the latest quarter, by 54,000 to 7.92m.
The total is still 51,000 higher than a year ago and represents 21% of the working population.
The jobless tally in Huddersfield rose by 89 to 1,965 in January.
The Colne Valley total was up by 51 to 1,105 while the figure for Dewsbury was 63 higher at 1,328.
The national figures showed that about 111,000 workers were made redundant in the latest quarter.
This is the lowest figure since 1995 and 24,000 down on the previous three months.
Average earnings increased by 3.8% in the year to December. Pay rates rose by 4% in the private sector and by 3.3% in the public sector.
The number of manufacturing jobs fell to the lowest total since 1978, down by 31,000 in the three months to December to 2.9m.