LATEST figures show that the number of people signing on to claim jobseeker’s allowances in the Cotswolds has risen by one since the start of 2014.

The data, which was put together by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), says that 572 people in the Cotswolds are receiving benefits, compared to 571 at the end of last year.

Despite the unemployment number increasing, the Cotswolds still has the lowest number of people out of work in Gloucestershire.

Anthony Flynn, president of the Cirencester Chamber of Commerce, said that the latest figures are no cause for great concern.

“Overall we are still very positive about the future, but it helps to be reminded from time to time that big challenges still remain and must be borne in mind when businesses think about their future strategies,” he said.

Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown praised the Cotswolds’ ranking of 607 out of 650 constituencies in terms of employment rates.

“On top of these excellent employment figures, which are helped by an improving national economy, according to the latest figures we have created 570 new apprenticeships in the Cotswolds,” he said.

“The number of businesses has also increased in the Cotswolds which highlights that this is a fantastic place to live and work and I hope that more small businesses will be established to reduce unemployment even further.”

More than 125,000 people had entered employment in the last quarter of 2013, taking the UK unemployment rate to 7.2%, the lowest since the start of the recession.

However Gloucestershire bucked the national trend of unemployment falling with the total number of people out of work in the county rising by 260 to 7,892.