OXFORDSHIRE’S latest employment figures show a 1.2 per cent increase in people working.

The ratio betters those of the South East and the UK generally, where employment rates increased by 0.4 and 0.3 per cent respectively.

The county statistics for January to December 2017 show that 81.4 per cent of people in the county were in employment.

In the 12 months from the start of October 2016 to the end of September 2017, the rate was 80.2 per cent, according to Office for National Statistics figures.

The latest stats also reveal that there are currently 4,350 people claiming Jobseekers Allowance in the county.

A spokesman for the Job Centre in Oxford said the area’s employment market was remaining ‘buoyant’, despite an apparent ‘rise’ in the number of people claiming benefits.

Ten county offices reported significant increases in the number of claimants, but the rise is thought to be due to the implementation of Universal Credit.

The new system changes the way claimants are categorised, meaning that the increases – which range from 20 to 80 per cent – cannot accurately be compared with previous data.

James Gilpin, Job Centre employment engagement manager for Oxfordshire said: “Employment is still rising... it is looking quite buoyant in Oxfordshire anecdotally.”

A nationwide ‘find a job service’ is currently being implemented, while a series of jobs fairs are planned in the local area.

Kidlington Job Fair takes place on Saturday, June 2, at Exeter Hall, from 10.30am 1pm and is being organised by Cherwell District Council.

Banbury’s Job Fair is on Thursday, July 14, but the venue is yet to be confirmed.

Oxford Town Hall is planning to host a job fair the following Wednesday, July 20.