THE number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Devon has increased slightly in January.
The figure, which has risen in line with the national trend, now stands at 7,060 claimants or one per cent of the working age population across the county.
The number of people aged 24 and under claiming JSA also increased very slightly, and now stands at 1,845 claimants or 26.2 per cent of total JSA claimants in Devon.
South Hams registered the largest increase of JSA claimants (10.6 per cent) with a total of 596 claiming the allowance, 1.2 per cent of the adult population, and Teignbridge (up 6.1 per cent) with a total of 1,169 a rate of 1.6 per cent.
The number of people claiming the allowance in Torbay jumped by 205 to 2,836, a rate of 3.7 per cent.
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 10 months.
The Devon claimant rate (1.6 per cent) is still round half of the UK figure of three per cent.
Year-on-year claimant numbers have actually decreased by 28.1 per cent or 2,758 claimants. This decrease is also greater than the UK figure, which has only decreased by 21.4 per cent since January 2013.
The slight increase in Devon JSA claimants (+393 claimants) is not unexpected, as Devon normally sees an increase in unemployment during the winter months due to the seasonal nature of the economy and as Christmas jobs come to an end.
This year's month-on-month increase is smaller than in previous years.
Within Devon, at a district level, all districts registered an increase in JSA claimants between December and January, although there are significant variations in the sizes of these increases.