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Small rise in unemployment
THE number of people looking for work in Worcestershire has risen.
Figures for February from the Office for National Statistics have revealed there were 10,685 people in the county claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) - up on 10,359 the previous month.
However, numbers are still lower than the same time last year when 11,819 were receiving the benefit.
The claimant rate stood at 3.1 per cent of Worcestershire’s 16 to 64-year-olds, whereas this was 4.8 per cent in the West Midlands and 3.9 per cent in England, and the number of 18 to 24-year-olds receiving the benefit rose by 150 claimants to 3,030 - lower than the regional figure of 8.9 per cent and above the national rate of 7.1 per cent.
The number of people claiming for more than 12 months rose by 60 to 2,310 or 0.6 per cent - below the regional figure of 1.4 per cent for the West Midlands and one per cent for England.
The countywide picture was reflected by both the Worcester and Malvern Hills districts.
In Worcester, 2,318 were on JSA last month - up from 2,179 in January, but down from 2,640 a year ago.
There were 970 claimants in Malvern in February, compared with 951 the previous month and 1,101 this time last year.
Wychavon bucked the trend, with the number of people claiming JSA falling from 1,730 in January to 1,724 last month, and down on 1,936 in February 2012.
Nationally, unemployment has increased for the first time in a year, with the jobless total rising by 7,000 to 2.52 million.