Another 140 join Plymouth dole queue as unemployment reaches 6,278
PLYMOUTH saw another hike in the number of people on the dole last month, official figures show.
The city's jobless total rose by more 140, from 6,136 in January to 6,278 in February.
However, this is still down on the 7,050 claimants recorded for the same month last year.
But surrounding areas saw falls on the month.
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In Cornwall the claimant count dropped from 10,609 to 10,462, and in South Hams the number of people on Jobseekers Allowance fell slightly from 778 to 762.
Unemployment across the South West rose by 1,000 to 156,000 in the quarter to December, giving a jobless rate of 5.8 per cent, which remains the lowest in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Nationally, unemployment has increased for the first time in a year, delivering a pre-Budget blow to the Government.
The jobless total jumped by 7,000 to 2.52 million, ending a run of reductions, with all the increase caused by more 18 to 24-year-olds becoming unemployed.
The total is still 152,000 lower than a year ago, while the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance fell in February by 1,500 to 1.54 million, the fourth consecutive monthly reduction.
There were 993,000 jobless 16 to 24-year-olds in the latest quarter to January, up by 48,000 from the three months to October, but the rise among 18 to 24-year-olds was 53,000.
The number of unemployed women increased by 5,000, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics showed.
Other figures revealed that public sector employment fell for the 13th consecutive quarter, by 20,000 to 5.7 million, the lowest for over a decade.
Employment in private companies increased by 151,000 to 24 million.
The number of people out of work for between six and 12 months increased by 5,000 to 447,000, but fell by 16,000 for those unemployed for over a year to 887,000.
There were 29.7 million people in work, up by 590,000 on a year ago.
Employment Minister Mark Hoban said: "It's a credit to businesses that the private sector is employing one and a quarter million more people than when this Government took office, helping us compete in the global race.
"There are still tough challenges ahead which is why we're working hard to give jobseekers all the help and support they need to realise their aspiration of finding a job."
Dave Prentis, general secretary of the Unison union, said: "This time five years ago there were one million fewer unemployed people in the UK. The Government has failed every single one of these people - and it has failed our country."