Leicestershire jobless total 'likely to have risen'
The dole queue is likely to have grown in the past three weeks, despite a fall in jobless claimants last month, business leaders say.
The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance in Leicestershire fell by 206 to 21,210 in December, official figures revealed yesterday .
Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce put the decline down to temporary jobs created by shops, pubs, hotels and restaurants to cope with the Christmas rush.
Max Boden, chamber policy manager, said the claimant figure for January was very likely to have increased when it is published in a month's time.
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"Because of seasonal factors, there was an increase in temporary jobs in November and December," he said.
"We expect that to have adjusted this month."
Mr Boden said many of the 177 county jobs lost by the closure of camera chain Jessops – which had its head office and two stores in Leicestershire – might be offset by vacancies at distribution centres around the county thanks to the growth of online retailers, which mail goods directly to customers from warehouse sites.
An employment boost was yesterday provided by fast food chain McDonald's, which said it was creating 40 jobs across more than 10 outlets in the county.
Unemployment across the East Midlands rose by 10,000 – or 5 per cent – to 190,000 between September and November, according to figures also released yesterday.