Unemployment up in south east Hampshire

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UNEMPLOYMENT in the region has increased again, reflecting national figures.

The biggest rise was seen in Portsmouth, as 127 more people were out of work in December compared to November, with 5,196 claiming unemployment benefit.

Figures for Gosport increased by 80, from 1,538 in November to 1,818 in December, according to figures released today by the Office of National Statistics.

Havant’s unemployment rose by 73 to 2,510, and Chichester’s rose by 43 to 1,412.

Fareham and East Hampshire’s figures, however, fell.

In Fareham, 42 people stopped claiming benefit, bringing the town’s December unemployment figure to 1,168.

And in East Hampshire, 39 fewer people claimed, bringing the figure there to 1,027.

Nationally, unemployment has risen to 2.68m.

Ken Moon, chairman of the Federation of Small Business in this region, said: ‘Unemployment figures are still rising and do not look set to improve.

‘We know from our members that small firms are looking to shed staff in the first three months of 2012.

‘Job losses from the small business sector would make for a difficult labour market. But we can turn this negative story around, if Government is bolder in its changes to existing employment law to incentivise job creation.’