The total number of people in employment in the South West has hit a record high, figures published by the Office for National Statistics showed today.
The number of people in work in our region for the period December 2013 to February 2014 hit 2,618,000, up by 75,000 from the previous period.
This overall number does not take into account the percentage of people in work, and is affected by an increase in population in the region.
A Cabinet Office spokesman said this figure resulted from a combination of the economy improving, South West unemployment decreasing and the population increasing.
The spokesman added: “All the numbers are pointing in the right direction.”
The number of unemployed people actively seeking work in the region dropped by 51,000 from the previous period, down to 135,000, and the number of unemployed people claiming benefits dropped by 23,700, down to 59,000.
Employment Minister Esther McVey said: “The South West saw its employment level hit a new record high in the last three months, and nationally, more and more businesses are hiring, so it's a credit to them that Britain is working again.
"But there is still more to do, which is why I’m calling on even more employers in the South West to work with us to tap into the fantastic pool of talent and potential the area has to offer.”
UK Unemployment has dropped below 7% for the first time since the recession and employment has seen the biggest annual jump in a generation.
Nationally, unemployment fell by 77,000 in the last three months, taking the unemployment rate to 6.9% for the first time since 2009.