UNEMPLOYMENT has fallen in Cumbria for the fourth month in a row.

According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 5,630 people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or Universal Credit in August – a drop of 45 compared to revised figures for July.

The month saw a mixed bag for Cumbria’s six districts, with a significant rise in Allerdale matched by a sizeable fall in Carlisle.

Carlisle saw the number of claims made fall by 50 to 1,045, representing 1.6 per cent of the population.

Juile Routledge, partnership manager at the JobCentre, said the area's claimants began on Universal Credit on July 25 and there was a large recruitment drive under way for the Cavaghan and Gray expansion, announced recently, thanks to it winning a large Marks & Spencer contract.

The recruitment will be phased, with the first tranche beginning next month, until January.

Allerdale saw a rise of 50 to 1,750 claims, equating to three per cent of the population.

But jobseekers should be bolstered, Mrs Routledge said, with warehouse and distribution centre Zoom, based at Lillyhall, advertising for 150 posts.

Elsewhere, both South Lakeland and Barrow witnessed falls of 20 and 15 respectively, taking the total of claims made to 330 (0.6 per cent) and 955 (2.3 per cent).

There was also a fall in the number of claims made in Eden, with 15 fewer made, taking the total to 235 (0.8).

Copeland saw a slight rise of five, with 1,315 claims made in August (3.1 per cent).

Across Cumbria, traineeships are being launched for jobs in the NHS, construction, civil engineering and administration.

They are aimed at people who did not get the GCSEs to go straight into apprenticeships.

Nationally, unemployment also continues to fall with 55,000 fewer claims made taking the total figure to 1.36 million.

While the number of people in work remained unchanged at 32.4 million, wages (excluding bonuses) grew faster than expected by 2.9 per cent, according to the ONS.

Its head of labour market statistics, David Freeman, said the figures showed the UK’s labour market remained “robust”.

But Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said the static figures for those in work could be a sign that the labour market was “finally beginning to run out of people”.

He added: “The increasing challenge that employers face in accessing the labour and skills they need is only translating into very modest pay growth for most workers, with real pay near flatlining over the last 12 months. Until we see sustainable improvements in productivity growth this picture is unlikely to change.”