Employment bosses have celebrated figures showing a large drop in the number of young people in St Helens claiming out-of-work benefits.
The most recent labour market statistics show there was a 13 per cent fall in 18-to-24-year-olds needing support in the town between last month and July 2016.
The Jobcentre Plus is really busy all the time with employers keen on using our facilities and interviewing people supported by our teamClive Morris
Elsewhere there was less positive news with the overall figure showing very little change in July 2017 compared to the same time 12 months previously.
Altogether there were 3,085 people on out-of-work benefits in St Helens last month, with 725 in the 18-to-24 age bracket.
Despite the flat-lining overall figure the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said the labour picture in St Helens remains extremely positive.
Clive Morris, DWP spokesman for Merseyside, said: “I think the drop of 105 young people on out-of-work benefits since July 2016 is the particular positive here.
“St Helens shows consistently how much work is being done with local employers and all the different agencies and companies.
“We’ve been working on behalf of manufacturing and distribution companies, call centre operations and a wide range of other companies.
“The Jobcentre Plus is really busy all the time with employers keen on using our facilities and interviewing people supported by our team.
“We’ve been helping lone parents and people with health conditions, making sure we look at their particular challenges and giving them additional support they need to move back into work.”
Mr Morris also reminded St Helens residents thinking of seasonal work that firms were already beginning to recruit for Christmas.
The figures show there were 1,895 men and 1,195 women in St Helens receiving out-of-work benefits in July 2017.
Nationally the employment rate rose to 75.1 per cent, with more than 32 million people in work.