THE number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in Worcestershire has risen, figures released this morning have revealed.

There were 10,359 people on JSA across the county last month, compared to 9,854 in December 2012.

The figure is still an improvement on January last year, where 11,404 people were claiming the benefit in Worcestershire.

It was a similar scenario in Wychavon, where 1,730 people received JSA last month - up on 1,674 in December 2012 but below 1,813 recorded in January 2012.

In Worcester city, the figures stood at 2,179 claimants in January 2013, 2,075 in December last year and 2,527 this time last year.

Malvern Hills saw the same pattern of figures, with 951 people on JSA last month, 921 in December 2012 and 1,088 in January 2012.

Worcestershire’s figures buck the national trend, where the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in January fell by 12,500 to 1.54million.

UK unemployment fell in the three months to December, while the number of people in work jumped to a new record.

The jobless total fell by 14,000 between October and December to 2.5million, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The number in work rose by 154,000 to 29.7million and over 580,000 more people are employed compared to a year ago.

Overall, ONS said there were 29.73million people in the UK in employment, of which 73 per cent were working full-time and 27 per cent were in part-time jobs.

In the three months to December, the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 per cent - down from 7.9 per cent in the previous quarter.