MORE than 370 people joined dole queues in East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire during the first month of 2013, new figures have revealed.
Although most of the rise is likely to be due to planned termination of temporary jobs created in the run up to Christmas, the increase has caused some concern among industry leaders.
The Burton and District Chamber of Commerce said businesses had been ‘treading water’ and called for action to boost confidence in the economy.
There were 1,984 Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants in East Staffordshire last month — up 289 from 1,695 in December.
This rise put an end to a chain of nine consecutive monthly falls in the claimant count.
There were another 1,354 JSA claimants in South Derbyshire last month.
This was up 82 from 1,272 recorded in December.
Chris Plant, director of the Burton and District Chamber of Commerce, said: “Businesses don’t have the confidence to invest in jobs and are just treading water.
“We urge the Government to bring forward major infrastructure projects and make lending to small and medium-sized enterprises easier, both of which will lead to investment and growth.
“The creation of jobs is what Burton desperately needs.”
He added: “The worst hit are the youngsters leaving school. Youth unemployment in the UK has increased by 11,000, which is the highest for a year.”
The Office for National Statistics said that between October to December 2012, full-time employment in Britain was 378,000 lower than in the April-to-June quarter in 2008, the first quarter of the recession. But part-time employment was 572,000 higher, it added.