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County unemployment increases

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 21, 2013

By LAURA CHURCHILL

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UNEMPLOYMENT figures in Gloucestershire have risen in the past month, despite a fall in the number of people jobless nationally.

Those out of work rose last month by 481 to 10,312 and all districts of Gloucestershire were affected by the upsurge.

It means 2.7 per cent of the working population are without a job in the county.

It comes following a report yesterday highlighted that even relatively affluent areas, such as Cheltenham and the Cotswolds, had significant numbers of children living in poverty.

The Campaign to End Child Poverty said 16 per cent of children in the Cheltenham borough and nine per cent in the Cotswold, were living in poverty. The latest figures showed unemployment in Cheltenham had risen to 2,429, up 109, in the last quarter, while in the Cotswolds there are 759 people who are unemployed, up 67. In Tewkesbury the figure is 1,113, up 91.

At an overview and scrutiny meeting this week councillor Barbara Driver (C, Lansdown) proposed that a task force be formed to investigate "hidden deprivation" in the town centre. She said: "I am becoming increasingly aware of issues of deprivation that affect those people living in the town centre. It does not get picked up in the maps of deprivation – hence the title hidden deprivation.

"I would like to understand more about living conditions in the town centre and take time to interview residents, businesses and other public sector partners like the police to build up our knowledge."

Members of the committee agreed to set up a group to investigate the issues and its findings will be reported back in July.

David Owen, chief executive of GFirst, set up to promote business, said: "This is obviously disappointing, but expected and we can't lose sight of the fact that unemployment in Gloucestershire remains considerably lower than the national average."

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