IN SPITE of a 20 per cent increase in unemployment in a single month, the Cambridgeshire economy is still doing significantly better than the regional and national averages, new statistics show. Figures for February 2009 show that the number of people claimi

IN SPITE of a 20 per cent increase in unemployment in a single month, the Cambridgeshire economy is still doing significantly better than the regional and national averages, new figures show.

Figures for February 2009 show that the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) rose to 9,320, a rise of 1,593 on the previous month, or 2.5 per cent of working age adults in the county.

But this percentage is much less than the regional and national picture. The average number of people claiming JSA across the eastern region stands at 3.3 per cent, with a national average of 3.8 per cent.

Cambridgeshire Together - the partnership of local authorities, business and voluntary groups that is co-ordinating measures to counter the recession - said the county also looked to be faring better on a number of fronts.

People are more likely to be claiming JSA for shorter periods in Cambridgeshire, with 16.8 per cent of people still likely to claiming JSA after six months, compared with 18.9 per cent in the East and 21.3 per cent nationally, a spokesman said today (Thursday).

The average weekly wage for Cambridgeshire residents in 2008 was £512.70, compared to an Eastern region average of £498.70 and a national average of £479.30. and the county has a higher-qualified workforce than the national average, which provides something of a buffer.