The Westcountry boasts a "dynamic" economy despite a round of job losses in the region, the employment minister has said.
Official figures yesterday showed national unemployment fell by 37,000 in the latest quarter to just under 2.5 million, the lowest since spring 2011.
South West unemployment fell by 10,000 to 147,000 people – meaning the region's unemployment rate was 5.5%, the lowest in the UK. But Exeter-based Flybe's announcement yesterday (see story, right) that it is to cut 95 jobs in the city followed Bideford-based manufacturer TE Connectivity revealing 250 jobs are to go.
In Devon and Cornwall, official figures showed 28,315 people were on the dole in December – 220 more than the previous month.
But Employment Minister Mark Hoban pointed to 200 jobs created in Nailsea, North Somerset, by GE Oil and Gas and 50 at Proper Cornish pasty maker in Bodmin as evidence there are "jobs being created and jobs being lost".
"The fact there are some good news stories in the South West is a reminder of how dynamic the economy in the South West can be," he added.