UNEMPLOYMENT has fallen for the tenth month running in York - as the national unemployment rate dropped below six per cent for the first time in six years.

Latest statistics show that the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in York decreased by 63 to 1,169 in December.

The number is almost 1,000 down on the figure for December 2013 and more than 2,500 fewer than the 3,853 claimants in December 2009.

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said the continuing fall in unemployment was 'fantastic news', and in his constituency the number of people out of work was less than a third of the figure from just five years ago.

“York is clearly leading the way in the North and there are now far greater career opportunities for young people than before," he said. "Eight out of ten of the new jobs being created are in full time work."

Nationwide, job vacancies have risen by 127,000 to hit a 14-year record high, but Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves said that while the fall in overall unemployment was welcome, wages remained sluggish.

Employment Minister Esther McVey said Yorkshire and Humberside had an employment rate higher than London and in North Yorkshire, the number of JSA claimants rose by 112 to 4,031 in December, but was still down by almost 2,500 on the 6,500 claimants in December 2013 and by more than 6,000 on the 10,266 claimants in December 2009.

East Riding of Yorkshire's figure rose from 3,589 in November to 3,622 in December, but the figure was still sharply down on the 5,288 in December 2013.

Selby's figure rose from 744 in November to 760 in December, but the number was still sharply down on the 1,060 claimants in December 2013.

In Ryedale, the figure rose from 302 to 325, but the number was still down on the 513 claimants in December 2013.