THE NUMBER of people claiming job seekers' allowance across East Lancashire has dropped, new figures reveal.

There were 15,284 claimants in September, down from 15,712 the previous month.

All districts in the area reported a slight fall, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The new total claimants in each borough:

* Blackburn with Darwen 4,281
* Burnley 2,486
* Chorley 2,048
* Hyndburn 2,036
* Pendle 2,149
* Ribble Valley 561
* Rossendale 1,723.

Despite the fall the figures are still far higher than the number of people claiming the benefit before the recession took hold.

Last October just 8,218 East Lancashire people were on the benefit.

Nationally the number of people unemployed, which includes those not looking for work, stands at 2.47million with 946,000 in youth unemployment.