The amount of people claiming benefits in North Devon last month rose by 39 per cent on 2017’s figures.

And in Torridge, 45 per cent more people are unemployed compared to last year.

The latest figures show there were 725 claimants in North Devon and 640 in Torridge last month.

That means there are 90 more claimants in North Devon than October, and 80 more than in Torridge.

A spokesman for the DWP said a rise in claimants was expected due to Universal Credit replacing a range of different benefits.

Previously the claimant count only reflected people claiming unemployment-related benefits, so people previously not included in the measure now fall under it because they’re in receipt of Universal Credit.

In North Devon, Tapi Carpets announced it would be opening at Anchorwood Bank, creating more jobs.

The Big Sheep will also be engaging with Job Centres in North Devon to create 35-50 seasonsal jobs in 2019.