15:58 Wednesday 19 February 2014

Unemployment rises locally, but MPs remain positive

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

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THE amount of people out of work in Burton and South Derbyshire has risen for the first time in a year.

Figures from the Office for National Statistic reveal an increase of 174 people claiming out of work benefits in East Staffordshire in January. The amount has risen by 70 in South Derbyshire.

MPs for the two areas have said they are confident the change has been caused by companies taking on temporary staff over the Christmas period.

Burton MP Andrew Griffiths said: “It’s disappointing that while, nationally, unemployment is down, it has increased marginally in Burton. Having spoken to the job centre, it appears much of this is because of seasonal workers.

“However, any increase in unemployment is disappointing and needs to be urgently addressed”

The rise means that 1.8 per cent of adults in the borough are now claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Despite the increase, Mr Griffiths said it was important to note there were still 650 fewer claimants than the same time last year.

“There were always going to be blips, when things go the other way, but it’s encouraging that there is a big trend downwards nationally and locally in the last 12 months,” he added.

The number of people claiming out of work benefits in the UK has dropped by 125,000. It now sits at 2.34 million.

South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler also spoke positively about the figures.

She told the Mail: “I’m sure the fact that overall unemployment is down by 434 means that South Derbyshire is on track for a full recovery from the economic downturn. Our area is full of hard-working people and, with more opportunities being created all the time,

“I am ambitious and confident that South Derbyshire will be the place to base your business and live.”

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