The St Helens jobs market is showing a distinctly mixed picture with the claimant count rising but more young people finding employment.
The latest labour statistics showed there were 3,310 people on out-of-work benefits in May, a five per cent increase on the same time last year.
However, among the 18-to-24 age bracket the claimant count of 725 was a six per cent drop on the total recorded 12 months ago.
The Jobcentre Plus said it was unsure what had caused the variations but said it was encouraged by the overall picture in St Helens and across Merseyside.
DWP spokesman Clive Morris said: "We had a recent jobs fair at St Helens Town Hall with 23 employers offering more than 200 vacancies and there are a lot of areas recruiting.
"There are opportunities in the NHS, hospitality, the construction industry and also general recruitment agencies are looking for workers.
"It may be that some of the opportunities at the moment are more suited to young people but we would say we are still working hard with all age groups and there is a record number of people over 50 in work.
"Local labour markets can show different pockets of performance at different times."
The DWP and Jobcentre Plus is currently working with those looking for employment and businesses wanting to hire, ensuring that people have the right CVs for the roles and putting them through additional short training courses if required.
Mr Morris also told St Helens jobseekers that there is a massive shortage of HGV drivers across Merseyside.