THE amount of people in the Malvern Hills out of work fell again in December.

Figures released this morning showed the amount of people in the district claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in December fell to 486 – meaning 1.1 per cent of working-age adults in the area are out of work.

This is down from 722 in December 2013 - a 33 per cent drop.

Mike Dzioea from JobCentre Plus saying the continued drop was largely down to an increase in job opportunities in the private sector, where 54,000 new roles had been created in the West Midlands in the last year alone.

“It’s all good news,” he said.

“What we’ve got is a general upturn in the economy.

“Overall unemployment has fallen below six per cent, which is the lowest level for six years.

“That’s what drives this and helps people get into work.”

He said the amount of young people in work or training had seen a particular increase, with 112,700 in the West Midlands involved in apprenticeships in the last year, 52,400 of who were started new schemes.

“We work with employers and training providers to help people gain the skills they need,” he said.

Mr Dzioea added the organisation was also working with older people who were either looking for a change of career or had been forced to find a new job by helping them brush up on their interview skills and gain new abilities that may help them back into work.

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin also welcomed the news.

“Wages are rising faster than inflation, four out of five new jobs are full-time and vacancies are at a record high,” she said. “Locally, unemployment has fallen 55 per cent since I was elected in 2010.

“Of course, every person who is out of work is one too many so I will continue to work with local businesses to help to create new jobs and apprenticeships and ensure that we stick to the long-term economic plan which is on track to deliver full employment in our area."

Unemployment also fell in Worcester, where 1,180 people were out of work in December - or 1.8 per cent of adults aged between 16 and 64 - down from 1,733 12 months previously.

The figures were also down in Wychavon, where 737 people, or one per cent of the working-age population, were claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, compared with 1,076 in December 2013.

In the Wyre Forest the figure was also down from 1,740 in December 2013 to 926 last month, 1.6 per cent of working-age adults.

Nationally the amount of people out of work fell for the 26th month in a row to 867,000.