THE number of jobseekers on benefits in Ryedale has risen, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Despite the unemployment rate falling nationally, the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) had risen from 491 in September last year to 547 in January.

Councillor Lindsay Burr, who represents Malton and Norton, said that Ryedale District Council should be doing more to help people who are struggling to find work.

“I’m desperately sad to see these figures for our young people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance has gone up, but not surprised. More needs to be done,” she said.

“Ryedale District Council could have reduced these figures by recently supporting more apprentices.”

A total of 165 JSA claimants in Ryedale were under 24 years old.

Coun Burr said: “The district council needs to take a strong lead to support all young apprentices in the area. The council needs to invest in all apprenticeships and local business and take a positive lead.”

About 3.9 per cent of people in the Yorkshire and Humber regionare currently claiming JSA and the region has the second highest unemployment rate in the country at 8.6 per cent.

The overall unemployment rate nationally, which includes people not receiving or not eligible for Jobseekers’ Allowance, is down 0.4 per cent to 7.2 per cent.

The total unemployment figure for Ryedale was 4.3 per cent, according to the figures.