THE numbers of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) in Greater Manchester has fallen by over 7%, new figures have revealed.

A report by New Economy, which delivers policy, strategy and research for Greater Manchester’s economic growth, shows that 51,095 people were claiming JSA in June this year, a decrease of 3,937 compared to 55,842 in May.

The north west region saw a slightly lower monthly decline of 7%, as did the whole of Great Britain at 6.6%.

Youth unemployment in Greater Manchester fell by 1,090, taking the number of JSA claimants a aged 16-24  to around 11,630.  

And the number of long-term claimants in our region also declined in June to 24,820, down by a  5.3% on May.

Commenting on the data Stephen Overell, principal for skills and employment at New Economy, said: "It looks like there has been another strikingly large fall in the numbers of people claiming JSA in the three months to June.

"If the numbers moving off benefit continue at this rate, the claimant count will be back below pre-recession levels before the summer is over. At that point the economic recovery will become real for many more people.

"We need to be very cautious, however, about attributing the fall in JSA claimants to the strength of the economic recovery alone. These figures are not just about job creation.

"Benefit sanctioning will be driving some people to end their claim and some of this group will simply vanish off the radar rather than move into work.

"In addition, Greater Manchester’s claimant count should really be about 4,000 higher because some areas are trying out the new Universal Credit system on unemployed people, but are not counting them in the jobless totals."