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Jobless count highest for two years

THE number of people out of work and claiming jobseekers’ allowance in Oxfordshire last month rose to its highest level since April 2010.

A total of 8,188 or 2.6 per cent of the working age population were signed on the dole in February, 334 more than in January, according to figures released from the Office of National Statistics.

The February figure shows a rise of 77 over the same month in 2011.

Nationally, the number of people claiming jobseekers’ allowance increased for the 12th month in a row, up by 7,200 in February to 1.6 million, the highest figure since the end of 2009.

And total unemployment increased to a near 17-year high, reaching almost 2.7 million people.

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