LATEST unemployment figures for the Cotswolds showing a decrease to pre-recession levels, have been welcomed by a council leader.

Figures for February show that there are about 250 fewer people unemployed compared with the same period in 2012, and nearly 500 fewer than in February 2010.

And the current rate of 1.1 per cent is the same as February 2006, before the crash in the banking sector and the global recession.

Councillor Lynden Stowe, leader of Cotswold District Council, said: “Throughout these recent hard times, I have been impressed by the economic resilience shown by people across the district, as shown by the relatively low unemployment figures and the small number of empty shops compared with many other areas.

"Now there is even more cause for optimism with the news that the unemployment rate has dropped back to the 2006 level.

“When we measure the Council’s performance, one of the key indicators we take into account is the unemployment rate, so it is very pleasing to see this moving in the right direction."