UNEMPLOYMENT figures in Oswestry are on on the rise.

Department of Work and Pensions figures reveal that a total of 485 people claimed unemployment benefits in the Oswestry area in July, which is 115 more than last year.

The total for Shropshire - including Telford and Wrekin - was 4,275, compared to 3,945 for the same time in 2017.

A DWP spokesman said: "The claimant count has increased this month which we were expecting, the claimant naturally fluctuates over time and always has, but it’s important to note that we fully expect to see higher numbers in the claimant count because the statistics now fully factor in Universal Credit, which is replacing a range of different benefits.

"So people who were previously not included in the measure now fall under it because they’re in receipt of Universal Credit."

the spokesman added that Jobcentre Plus is helping KFC with recruitment in the region, and that a jobsfair will be held in Oswestry on Thursday, September 6.

Employment in the West Midlands is up by 126,000 on the year and 323,000 since 2010, to a record high of 2.80 million, according to the figures.

The unemployment rate for the UK is at 4 per cent, the lowest since 1975, with the employment rate at a near record high of 75.6 per cent.

As young people in England and Wales await their A-level results tomorrow, the proportion of young people who are unemployed and not

in full time education is at a record low of 4.7 per cent.

Secretary of state for work and pensions Esther McVey said school leavers can look forward to a “growing jobs market, improving the

prospects for their future careers”.

The DWP also announced that there are 10.2million older people in work.

There was also a large fall in zero-hour contracts in April to June 2018, making up 2.4 per cent of people in employment – a fall of 104,000 on the year.

Minister of state for employment, Alok Sharma, said: “We’ve backed

businesses to create jobs and reformed welfare to make work pay, and thanks to the government’s policies and employers’ confidence in the

British economy we have seen over 3.3 million more people employed since 2010.”