Benefit claims rise in the region

THE number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the region rose slightly last month.Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed there were 124,614 claimants across the East of England in February, up by about 140 over the previous month.

THE number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the region rose slightly last month.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed there were 124,614 claimants across the East of England in February, up by about 140 over the previous month.

In Norfolk the 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 Suffolk, February's claimant count figures were down by 14 to 13,930, while Cambridgeshire saw an increase of just 27 to 9,992.


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In the Norwich City Council area, the claimant count figures showed an increase of 36 to 4,675.

Broadland, Breckland, North Norfolk and South Norfolk council areas all saw small increases in claimants, while Great Yarmouth saw a slight fall to 3,866.

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In King's Lynn and West Norfolk, the figure was up by eight at 3,117.

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 underway, it is patchy and there is no sign of unemployment coming down significantly.”

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