UNEMPLOYMENT in Castle Point has fallen by 26 per cent in a year according to new statistics.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics show the total number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in the borough has plummeted from 1,611 in January 2013 to 1,188 this January.

Youth unemployment has also fallen by 27 per cent from 510 claimants to 370 in the same period.

The number of people over 50 claiming the support has dropped by 16 per cent from 250 to 210.

Nationally, unemployment has fallen by 327,600, the biggest annual fall in 16 years.

UK unemployment now stands at its lowest level since 2008, the year of the financial crisis.

Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris welcomed the news.

She said: “Great Britain is working again and Great Britain is working hard. The Government’s welfare reforms have pushed more people into work and apprenticeships and other support programmes for our young people are making it ever easier for them to begin worthwhile careers.

“There are more people in work in the UK now than there ever has been and we should all be incredibly proud of that.

“By working relentlessly to cut the deficit and by focusing on cutting unemployment, the British economy is fighting off the financial uncertainty that continues to dog the eurozone states across the channel.

“We all remember the dark days of unemployment and insecurity at the height of the financial crisis and as a country we cannot afford to stop now and risk the slide back into uncertainty.

“I will continue to support the Government in its plans to get more people into work and build a sustainable recovery for our future.”