Calderdale unemployment figures rose in January

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The number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance in Calderdale has risen for the first time since January 2015.

Figures for the borough show that a total of 1,981 people claimed out of work benefits in January, compared with 1,885 in December.

But the national picture tells a different story - a record number of people are in work and unemployment has fallen by another 60,000 to its lowest rate for a decade.

The jobless total dipped to 1.69 million in the final quarter of last year, a rate of 5.1 per cent, the lowest since the end of 2005.

More than 31.4 million people are in work, the highest since records began in 1971.

The number of people on the claimant count, including Jobseeker’s Allowance, fell by 14,800 last month to 760,200, the lowest since the summer of 1975.

The data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also showed a record 776,000 job vacancies across the economy after a 23,000 increase in the latest quarter.

The number of people classed as economically inactive, including those on long-term sick leave, looking after a relative or who have given up looking for work, continued a downward trend, with an 88,000 quarterly fall to 8.8 million.

The economically inactive rate for women fell to 27.2 per cent, a record low.

Average earnings increased by 1.9 per cent in the year to December, 0.2 per cent down on the previous month.

ONS statistician Nick Palmer said: “While the employment rate continues to hit new highs and there are more job vacancies than ever previously recorded, earnings growth remains subdued and markedly below the recent peak of mid-2015.”

The number of UK nationals in work increased by 278,000 between October and December to 28.28 million, while for non-UK nationals the figure rose by 254,000 to 3.22 million.

The proportion of non-UK nationals in work in this country has increased from 3.8 per cent in 1997 to 10.2 per cent.

There were 9,000 working days lost from 10 industrial disputes in December, one of the lowest on record. The record high for days lost in a month was 11.6 million in September 1979.