Brighter picture on unemployment

THE number of people claiming Jobs Seekers Allowance fell in North Devon and Torridge last month. JSA claimant count figures for May released today (Wednesday) show that for the fourth month in a row, the rate for the whole of Devon has remained constant

THE number of people claiming Jobs Seekers Allowance fell in North Devon and Torridge last month.

JSA claimant count figures for May released today (Wednesday) show that for the fourth month in a row, the rate for the whole of Devon has remained constant at 2.6 per cent.

For the first time this year, the actual number of people claiming JSA in the county has fallen by just under 300.

This is in contrary to the national picture which shows an increase in numbers of 7,362 or a constant rate of 4.1 per cent.

But economists have suggested that the fall in the number of claimants in Devon's coastal areas is likely to coincide with the start of the tourist season.

West Devon has experienced an increase in both the number and proportion of claimants and Exeter has witnessed a slight increase in the number of claimants.

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A Devon County Council economist said that coastal towns might be taking on additional staff in anticipation of a busy summer and that by the end of the tourist season there could be increases in the claimant numbers.

Figures released today by the Office for National Statistics said UK unemployment rose to 2.261 million in the three months to April, the highest since November 1996.

Nationally, the jobless rate rose to 7.2 per cent, the highest since July 1997.

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