UNEMPLOYMENT in Yate and Thornbury has dropped by a third since last year, new figures reveal.

The Office for National Statistics has revealed in April 2014 there were 622 people out of work and claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in Thornbury and Yate, compared to 805 people on JSA at the time of the last General Election in 2010.

The number of people out of work in the area peaked at just over 1,000 in early 2012, but the unemployment rate has fallen dramatically since then, in line with national figures which show unemployment fell by 133,000 to a five-year low of 2.2 million in the three months to March.

The number of people in work across the country rose to 30.43 million, the highest since records began in 1971, helped by a rise in self-employment.

Average earnings in the three months to March were up 1.7% from a year earlier.

Thornbury and Yate MP Steve Webb said the fall of a third was a ‘stunning achievement’.

He added: “It is great news that local businesses are creating more and more jobs for local people.

“I have been working hard promoting apprenticeships as a high quality option for young people in particular, and the growth in apprenticeships has helped to reduce unemployment. The majority of people who undertake apprenticeships impress their employers so much that they go on to a permanent job with the same firm, and they are a great route in to employment.”

Said Mr Webb: “I look forward to further falls in joblessness over the coming months, and salute everyone who is working hard to make the local economy such a success.”

The figures also show that Thornbury and Yate is in the top 100 constituencies of low unemployment rates.