Jobless figures continue to rise
Rob GarrattTHE number of people in Breckland claiming unemployment benefits has risen slightly for the second successive month.Signs that the region is yet to escape the recession were spelled out with new figures that show the number of people claiming Job Seeker's Allowance.Rob Garratt
THE number of people in Breckland claiming unemployment benefits has risen slightly for the second successive month.
Signs that the region is yet to escape the recession were spelled out with new figures that show the number of people claiming Job Seeker's Allowance.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed there were 2,682 claimants across Breckland in February, up by around 50 from the previous month.
This follows a larger increase in January of more than 200 new claimants, following a period of four months were levels started floating below the 2,500-
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mark. Two years ago there were just 1,331 claimants in Breckland.
The vast majority of Breckland's claimants are men, with 1,910 male claimants last month against just 772 females.
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Overall in Norfolk, the claimant figure was up 189 at 19,920, but at less than 1pc the increase was the smallest
for five months, and follows a far steeper rise between December and January, which saw numbers up 1,350 (7.3pc) as retailers reduced staff levels.
In separate national figures for the three months to January 31, unemployment fell by 33,000 to about 2.45 million.
Chris Starkie, chief executive of economic development partnership Shaping Norfolk's Future, said: 'Any rise in unemployment is disappointing and it is clear it is going to be a major concern throughout 2010.
'While the economic recovery is under way, it is patchy and there is no sign of unemployment coming down significantly.'