Unemployment fell again last month as it continued its record downward trajectory.

The number of Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimants in Brighton and Hove fell to 3,661 – the lowest since records began in 1992.

East and West Sussex also saw record lows of 5,599 and 5,581 in August, not seen since May 2008.

The picture was echoed across the South East were unemployment fell by 16,000 in the three months to July, Office for National Statistics figures revealed.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said:  “All of our reforms are focussed on helping people off benefits and into work – giving people the peace of mind and security that comes with a steady income.

"With the South East seeing the lowest unemployment rate in the UK at 4.4% and 64,000 fewer people unemployed compared to this time last year, we are helping people to break free from welfare dependency, look after themselves and their families, and play their part in getting our country back to work.”

But union leaders said the rosy picture painted by ministers masked the true nature of unemployment in the UK, such as the growing number of people forced into so-called self-employment to get off benefits.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “While the fall in unemployment this month is welcome, it is based on record low pay and rising insecure employment which is blighting economic recovery.

"Pay is running significantly and stubbornly far behind the rate of inflation.”