According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 5,675 people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or Universal Credit in September – a fall of just five compared to revised figures for September.

It means that 1.9 per cent of Cumbria’s population is recorded as unemployed.

The month saw falls across West Cumbria and Furness, but a significant rise in Eden.

A total of 35 new claims were made in Eden, taking the total of claims made to 290 but equating to just 0.9 per cent of the population.

South Lakeland saw a rise of five to 320 (0.5 per cent), while Carlisle remained unchanged with 1,105 claims made (1.7 per cent).

The biggest fall came in Copeland, with 25 fewer claims made, taking the total to 1,280 (3.1 per cent).

Both Allerdale and Barrow saw drops of 10, taking the totals to 1,710 (3 per cent) and 970 (2.4 per cent) respectively.

The slight fall for October offsets the slight rise witnessed in September, which followed four months of consecutive falls.

Shane Byrne, Cumbria partnership manager at Jobcentre Plus, said the picture for Cumbria remained “really positive”.

“The labour market in Cumbria is really strong,” he said.

“We have 2,000 vacancies advertised across all sectors across the county and had 402 business start-ups in the last quarter.

“We’re also seeing some creative approaches from businesses who are finding it tough to recruit.

“We have, for example, helped 2 Sisters in Carlisle bring workers across from Allerdale to fulfil the work emanating from their contract win with Marks and Spencer earlier this year. That’s an example of brilliant partnership working."

Mr Byrne also said that the controversial Universal Credit system is having a positive impact across the county, having been rolled out at all of its Cumbrian offices except Barrow, which is due to go live in early December.

The system – which received additional funding in the Autumn Budget and has been heavily criticised in the media – was there to “simplify things and get help to the people who need it most”.

“The key is working in partnership,” said Mr Byrne.

“We’re working with a wide range of organisations to ensure the people who need help get it, and we’re also here to resolve any issues people may be having with Universal Credit payments. Problems with payments can be rectified within a day, but we need people to let us know.”

Nationally, unemployment rose by 21,000 between July to September, taking the total to 1.38 million.

A rise in the population and the number of people entering the labour market, along with an increase in the number of men out of work all contributed to the first rise witnessed in 2018.

ONS senior statistician Matt Hughes said the labour market was stronger than last year and that faster wage growth and “more subdued inflation” meant that real earnings had picked up in recent months, despite lagging behind figures for 2015.

He also said that the number of eastern European workers in the UK was declining, a source of concern for Cumbria’s tourism and agricultural sectors, who fear Brexit will have an impact on their workforces.

“The recent uptick in British nationals in work and the decline in workers from the so-called ‘A8’ eastern European countries both seem to be accelerating,” said Mr Hughes.