Unemployment rises locally

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The number of people claiming the Jobseeker’s Allowance unemployment benefit has risen in the region.

Data released this morning by the Office for National Statistics showed more people claimed the benefit in January than in December last year.

Locally, the biggest increase was in Havant, with 118 more people claiming the benefit in January, taking the total from 2,406 to 2,524.

Fareham also saw a relatively sharp rise, with 78 more claimants taking the town’s figure from 1,120 to 1,198.

East Hampshire’s claimant count rose by 54 between December and January, from 1,043 to 1,097.

Chichester’s rose by 42, from 1,418 to 1,460, and in Gosport the figure rose by 35 – from 1,542 to 1,577.

Only Portsmouth showed static figures, with one fewer person claiming the benefit putting January’s number at 5,025.

The local figures go against the national trend, which saw the claimant count fall to its lowest since January 2011.

Earlier this month employment minister Mark Hoban was in his constituency of Fareham to talk about unemployment.

He insisted jobs were being created despite slow economic growth.