Unemployment has plunged again in Huddersfield with a huge drop in the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance.

There are now 1,690 people claiming the benefit, down 25% on last year, and a drop of 52% on the figure from five years ago.

The Colne Valley saw an even bigger five year claimant count reduction, of 54%, to 1,065. And across Kirklees as a whole there has been a fall of 51% in benefit claimants in the last five years, to a total of 5,400, down 22% on last year.

Amanda Bush, local account manager with Jobcentre Plus in Huddersfield, said one area where there are still high levels of vacancies is the hospitality sector.

“We are looking at that in Huddersfield as employers are consistently recruiting as they struggle to find the workforce.

“A lot of people don’t realise the career progression you can have in that sector and that is something we are keen to promote.”

The drop in claimants in Kirklees mirrors that across Yorkshire, where the employment level stands at just over 2.5 million, up 10,000 on last year, with the claimant count down by 17,300 to 77,100.

Nationally, unemployment has fallen to a near eight-year low and a record number of people are in work.

This week’s raft of job losses in the steel industry will not feed through for months. Tata announced more than 1,000 redundancies on Monday, while Sheffield Forgemasters said on Wednesday that 100 jobs are set to be cut from its 700-strong workforce.

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Unemployment has fallen by 239,000 over the past year. The claimant count has also fallen - down by 4,300 last month to 785,900, the lowest since March 2008.

Employment has reached a record 31.3 million, a rate of 74%, increasing by more than half a million over the past year and by 267,000 in the latest quarter.

Employment Minister, Priti Patel, said: “There are now more people in work than ever before and wages are growing consistently – a credit to hardworking Brits and businesses alike. And in a further demonstration of the strength of the UK labour market today’s figures show a record three quarters of a million vacancies available.

“In Yorkshire and the Humber the number of people in work has risen 23,000 over the past quarter, bringing the total employment to a near record high.”