The number of people claiming job seeker’s allowance in Chipping Barnet fell by 55 in December, compared with the previous month.

A total of 1,522 people claimed the unemployment benefit last month, a total of 2.7 per cent of the population aged 16 to 64.

The figure represents a drop of 506 from December 2012, while the national rate of unemployment fell to 7.1 per cent.

Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers said: “I warmly welcome this latest drop in unemployment in my constituency. The national figures are also very encouraging, with the largest ever quarterly increase in the number of people in work.

“Every one of those jobs means another person taking home a pay packet and able to provide for their families."