MORE than 5,000 people claimed jobseekers allowance (JSA) in St Helens last month.
New figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that 3,524 local men and 1,572 local women claimed the benefit in June.
Both local unemployment rates are higher than the regional and national averages.
However, the number local men claiming JSA has fallen every month since April and has dropped significantly since a high point of 4,442 last January.
The number of women claiming JSA is marginally down compared to April’s high point of 1,653.
The Government says it is under no illusions about the latest drop in unemployment - arguing that there are still big economic challenges ahead.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: “There continue to be some encouraging signs in the labour market figures, particularly with the continued rise in private sector employment. It’s really important that we continue to support the economy and encourage businesses to invest and create jobs.
“However, we do not underestimate the scale of the challenge that we face to help people into employment. We always said that the road to recovery would be choppy; for people who lose their jobs our new Work Programme is now up and running and will offer jobseekers flexible support tailored to their needs to help them into employment.”