THE number of people claiming unemployment benefits has fallen across most of East Lancashire in the last year, new figures have revealed.

But Hyndburn and Burnley have seen their jobless totals rise.

The Office for National Statistics said the UK unemployment rate had fallen to 4.7 per cent, the lowest since 2005.

The Department for Work and Pensions revealed that year on year across East Lancashire's six core boroughs the number of Job Seekers Allowance and Universal Credit claimants has fallen.

The announcement was welcomed by Tory MPs Jake Berry and Andrew Stephenson as evidence of economic recovery.

But Hyndburn Labour MP Graham Jones said: "Once again Hyndburn has seen unemployment rise.

"This cycle of small falls and rises in the claimants total shows that the work available is insecure, short-term and often on zero hours contracts."

In Blackburn with Darwen, the total number of claimants was 2,515, a five per cent decrease year on year and the total for 18 to 24-year-old total 595, a nine per cent fall.

The equivalent Burnley figures were: all claimants 1, 665, a six per cent increase on year but a 35 per cent fall since 2010.

The total of 18 to 24-year-old claimants was 365, a three per cent decrease year on year.

In Hyndburn there was a one per cent increase for all claimants to 1,405 but a 42 per cent fall since 2010.

The 18 to 24 total was 360, three per cent decrease year on year and a 57 per cent fall since 2010).

Ribble Valley saw a 13 per cent fall in all claimants year on year to 225 with the 18-24 total dropping to 50, a nine per cent decrease over 12 months.

In Pendle the 18 to 24 total fell to 240, 14 per cent decrease year on year and all claimants dropped by six per cent to 1,130.

In Rossendale, the 18 to 24 total fell 10 per cent year on year to190 and the overall number six per cent over the 12 months to 880 claimants.

Pendle MP Mr Stephenson said: “This is great news for our country and for local people."

His Rossendale and Darwen counterpart Mr Berry said: "This shows that our on-going welfare reforms are working, continuing to incentivise work and making sure the system is fair to all those who need it and those who pay for it."