THE number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Mid Devon has increased by 3.1% in January, slightly above the UK figure of 3%.

In line with the national trend, the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in Devon as a whole has also increased slightly in January.

It now stands at 7,060 claimants or 1.6% of the working age population.

The number of people aged 24 and under claiming JSA also increased very slightly, and now stands at 1,845 claimants or 26.2% of total JSA claimants in Devon.

The increase in Devon JSA claimants follows the national trend in claimant numbers, with the UK seeing an increase in JSA claimants for the first time in ten months.

Importantly though, the Devon claimant rate (1.6%) is still around half of the UK figure of 3%, so JSA claimant numbers in Devon, comparatively, are still very low.

Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council's Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economy and Growth said:"Devon County Council, the Heart of the South West LEP and other partners, are working to ensure that parts of the county most in need are included in the latest draft of the Government's Assisted Areas map.

"These latest JSA figures for Devon, which are unwelcome but not unexpected, help to support that work."This work will enable manufacturing businesses to access more generous levels of government funding to drive innovation and employment growth.”