Further rise in jobless figures

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More than three hundred more people were looking for work in February than the previous month according to unemployment figures for Lincolnshire.

Latest statistics released by the Office for National Statistics claim the number of people currently unemployed and claiming Job Seekers Allowance in the county now stands at 15,616 – up from 15,293 last month.

It means the county rate – in line with the national rate – has risen by 0.1 per cent from January to February, but Lincolnshire’s unemployment rate of 3.5 per cent remains below the national rate of 3.9 per cent.

The picture in South Holland is lower still, with the rate of unemployment standing at 2.9 per cent – a rise from 1,450 claimants to 1,544.

InSpalding and Holbeach the rate of unemployment stands at 3.1 per cent – an increase from 1,379 to 1,473 claimants.

The figures paint a positive picture compared to this time last year, when 1,620 people in Spalding and Holbeach were claiming Job Seekers Allowance – a nine per cent decrease.

A statement from the Lincolnshire Research Observatory following the release of the figures said: “The increase in those claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Lincolnshire is expected at this time of year due to seasonal changes, but we would expect it to fall over the next few months in line with previous years.”

The new unemployment figures still paint a bleak picture for Lincolnshire’s 16-24 year olds – with 205 more claimaints in February compared to the previous months – but it is better than this time last year with around 720 fewer claimants.

There are currently around 4,900 unemployed 16-24 year olds in the county – making up 31 per cent of the total number of Lincolnshire’s job seekers.

The number of people who have been unemployed for more than six months also stands at 6,060, a total of 175 more than in January and a two per cent increase on February 2012.