A record number of people are in work and unemployment is still falling, according to latest figures.
Just over 30m people are now in jobs – up by 459,000 on a year ago and the highest figure for more than 40 years.
The jobless total fell by 63,000 in the quarter to January to 2.33m, a rate of 7.2%. Most of the fall was among men.
The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in February fell by 34,600 to 1.17m, the 16th consecutive monthly reduction, while vacancies jumped by 23,000 to 588,000, the most since 2008.
Among local parliamentary constituencies, the claimant count in February was up by 18 at 3,168 in Huddersfield, but down by 63 at 1,904 in Colne Valley and lower by six at 2,404 in Dewsbury.
Quarterly unemployment in Yorkshire and Humber rose by 1,000 to 241,000 or 8.7% of the region’s workforce.
The Office for National Statistics also reported a fall in the number of people working part-time because they could not find full-time work - down by 32,000 in the latest quarter to 1.4m, although still 41,000 higher than a year ago.
Youth and long-term unemployment both fell, with the number of people out of work for over a year down by 38,000 to 828,000, while 912,000 people aged between 16 and 24 were jobless, down by 29,000.
The number of people classed as economically inactive, including long-term sick, those looking after a relative or who have given up looking for work, fell by 19,000 to 8.9m, including the lowest number of women on record at 5.6m.
Public sector employment has fallen by 159,000 to 5.5m, the lowest since December 1999, although most of the reduction was explained by Royal Mail workers moving to the private sector because of the postal group’s privatisation.
Local government employment fell by 25,000 to 2.3m and by 6,000 in the civil service to 441,000. Private sector employment is now 662,000 higher than a year ago.
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