Unemployment has remained unchanged in Cumbria – bringing much-needed stability to the county following significant hikes during late 2018 and early 2019.

The latest release of data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), found that 6,465 claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance or received support through Universal Credit to seek work in June – the same compared to revised figures for May.

A drop in 20 claims made between May and April followed a rapid growth during the previous six months – which saw the proportion of the county’s population seeking work rise to 2.2 per cent.

However, the figures for June did throw up some significant rises and falls, as the unemployment picture in Cumbria begins to calm down following the introduction of Universal Credit across all of the county’s Jobcentre Plus offices.

Carlisle saw a rise in 65 claims, taking the total to 1,515 and representing 2.3 per cent of the district’s population.

In Barrow 15 more claims were made, taking the total to 1,185 and representing 2.9 per cent – which puts it above the national average of 2.7 per cent.

The other rise was recorded in South Lakeland, which saw 10 new claims made, taking the total to 540 and representing just 0.9 per cent of the population – the lowest level across all Cumbria’s six districts.

The three rises were offset by falls elsewhere.

Copeland saw 55 fewer claims made, with a total of 1,230. Despite the fall bringing down the proportion of the borough’s population seeking work down from 3.1 per cent to 3 per cent, but means it still has the highest percentage of Cumbria’s six districts.

Allerdale also remains above the national average (2.8 per cent), despite a drop of 25, taking the total to 1,605.

The number of claims made in Eden dropped by 10, taking the total to 390 (1.3 per cent).

The run of rises in Cumbria have coincided with the introduction of the controversial Universal Credit system across the county, which was completed in December 2018. The full rollout is expected to take another three or so years.

Nationally, unemployment remains at a record low, according to latest data from the ONS.

Around 1.3 million people of working age recorded as jobless for the three months to the end of May – down 110,000 on the same period on 2018 – while 33m people were recorded in work.

The deputy head of labour market statistics at the ONS, Matt Hughes, said: “The labour market continues to be strong, with the employment rate still at a near-record high and unemployment down again.

“The number of self-employed part-timers has passed one and a half million for the first time, well over double what it was twenty-five years ago.

“Regular pay is growing at its fastest for nearly eleven years in cash terms, and its quickest for over three years after taking account of inflation.”