Office for National Statistics says Liverpool city region claimant count fell by 530 from January to February.

The number of people claiming jobseekers allowance in Merseyside has fallen again, official figures show.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that across the city region’s six local authority areas – Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral – the claimant count dropped by 530 to 24,273 from January to February.

This represents a fall of just over 2%.

Liverpool saw the biggest fall of 137, followed by Halton and Wirral with 101 each, Sefton with a drop of 95, St Helens, 53, and Knowsley, 43.

Unemployment in the North West fell by 2,000 in the quarter to January, the ONS figures also revealed. Atotal of 219,000 people were unemployed in the region between November and January.

The region’s unemployment rate was 6.2% and saw a drop of 0.9% during the period.

Nationwide, unemployment has dipped to a near seven-year low after a fall of more than 100,000, while a record number of people are in work.

The jobless total is 1.86m, the lowest since the summer of 2008 and almost half a million down on a year ago. The jobless rate is now 5.7%, compared to a European Union average of 9.8%.

The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance fell by 31,000 to 791,200 in February – the 28th consecutive monthly reduction.