The number of people out of work in the West Midlands has fallen by a further 15,000 – although the number in work also fell slightly.

New data shows there were 200,000 people unemployed in the region in the quarter to October, which compares to 262,000 in the same period in 2013.

There was, however, the first fall in employment in a year, with a total of 2.56 million in work, 3,000 down on the quarter before.

Unemployment has now fallen for five successive quarters in the region and the latest decline saw the rate drop to 7.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, nationwide there is now a record number of people are in work after another huge fall in unemployment, new figures have shown.

The jobless total for the UK fell by 115,000 in the quarter to September to 1.96 million, the lowest figure since the start of the year.

Employment Minister Esther McVey said: “Record numbers of people in work means more people with the security of a regular wage who are better able to support themselves and their families.

“With the vast majority of the rise in employment over the last year being full-time, it’s clear that thanks to the Government’s long-term economic plan, we are helping businesses to create the jobs that people need.

“More young people are getting their foot on the career ladder and we’ve seen record falls in female unemployment, so as the economy continues to grow, more and more people are having their lives transformed by moving into work.”

The Government pointed out there are more than half a million fewer unemployed people than there were a year ago with schemes such as the Work Programme contributing to the biggest annual fall in long-term unemployment in 16 years - down by 206,000.

The number of people claiming the main unemployment benefit - jobseeker’s allowance - has also been falling every month for the last two years and is now more than half a million lower than May 2010.