Unemployment fell again across South Yorkshire last month, according to new official figures.
In Sheffield, a total of 9,050 people claimed Job Seekers’ Allowance or Universal Credit in December 2015.
The figure is a 12 per cent fall on the number of people receiving benefits in December 2014 – when 10,270 people were claiming.
Since 2010, there has been a 39 per cent reduction in job seekers, the figures reveal.
Youth unemployment also fell by 17 per cent over the same period. In December last year, 2,075 young people aged between 18 and 24 were claiming benefits, compared to 2,495 in 2014.
Figures show in the last five years there has been a 54 per cent drop in youth unemployment.
Nigel Coleman, Employer Account Manager at Sheffield’s Cavendish Court job centre, said: “These figures are very positive, they are very encouraging.
“I have been working closely with Meadowhall to let all the retailers know about Universal Credit and the difference it can make to people in part-time work.
“Universal Credit, which is now available across South Yorkshire, allows people to continue working for a few hours while still claiming benefits. Obviously it is better for people to be in employment.
“I am also going to be working with Ikea as that development continues and we are hoping they will be recruiting soon.
“I am also going to be working with the NHS on how to improve their recruitment services and make people more aware of how to apply for them.
“I would advise people to check with big retailers to see if there are any roles available.”
Unemployment hase also fallen in Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham. There was a 15 per cent fall in the number of people claiming benefits in Doncaster in December 2015 compared to December 2014. In Barnsley, there was a 10 per cent fall and in Rotherham 19 per cent.
Nationally, the employment rate has risen to a new record high of 74 per cent. Unemployment figures are also down across the country, with figures falling to pre-recession levels.
Employment Minister Priti Patel said: “This is a record-breaking set of figures – and has got 2016 off to a fantastic start.
“In Yorkshire and Humber the number of people in work has risen 23,000 over the past quarter, bringing employment to a near record high. There are more people in work than ever before .”