Jobless figures show rise in most of area

Thieves smash into vehicles parked at leisure centres

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UNEMPLOYMENT rates increased in Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant between November and December, official figures have shown.

Fareham, however, bucked the Hampshire and national trend, with a slight decrease.

Another 59 people signed on in Portsmouth, taking the total claiming benefit to 4,595.

In Gosport, 1,339 people claim benefit, which is 35 more than the previous month. Havant saw 29 extra claimants, taking the total there to 2,097. In Fareham the number dropped by 32, for a new total of 1,067.

The levels of people claiming benefit are still slightly lower than at the same time in 2009.

The figure for Hampshire as a whole stands at 14,983.

Nationally. unemployment soared by 49,000 to 2.5 million in the quarter to November, with a record number of young people out of work.

One in five 16 to 24-year-olds are jobless after an increase of 32,000 during the same period to 951,000, the highest figure since records began in 1992.

Employment levels have fallen, redundancies have increased and the number of people classed as economically inactive has reached 9.3 million.

The good news was a 4,100 fall those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance last month to 1.46 million.

The unemployment rate is now 7.9 per cent, but for 16 to 24-year-olds it is 20.3 per cent.