THE number of people out of work and claiming jobseeker’s allowance has risen for the first time since February last year.

Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics for December show there are 6,562 claimants in Oxfordshire, a rise of 115 on the previous month and the highest total since September.

But year on year figures show the number of people signing on fell by 1,049.

Nationally, numbers claiming jobseeker's allowance fell by 12,100 last month to 1.56 million, the lowest since June 2011.

Total UK unemployment fell by 37,000 in the latest quarter to just under 2.5 million, the lowest since spring 2011 with a record number — almost 30 million — adults in a job, up by 500,000 on the same time a year earlier.