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Unemployment in Oxfordshire still growing
8:00am Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
OXFORDSHIRE dole queues are lengthening again, bucking the national trend.
For the third month in a row the number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance has risen in the county, with figures showing 7,225 people claiming it in February, a rise of 383 on the previous month.
Nationally, the claimant count dropped by 1,500 to 1.54 million.
Experts are struggling to explain the continuing rise, but figures released today show the county’s biggest employer, Oxfordshire County Council, has seen its headcount drop from 20,564 to 20,317 in the last year.
Small numbers of job losses have been made in the retail sector with the closure of Jessops camera stores and Blockbuster video outlets, but the private sector has not had major cuts in the last few months.
And the figures also show that there are 1,931 fewer claimants than at the same time last year.
Oxfordshire Chamber of Commerce president Nigel Wild said: “It is very difficult to judge exactly why this is happening. Chamber members seem to be stable.”
Overall UK unemployment including those not claiming benefit rose by 7,000 to 2.52 million – the first increase for a year, with growing numbers of jobless aged 16-24.