Cumbria has suffered its second highest rise in unemployment for 2019.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 6,735 people claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance or received support through Universal Credit to seek work in November – an increase of 205 compared to the revised figure for October, which stood at 6,530.

It is the biggest increase in unemployment since February this year, when the number of new claims increased by 385.

And it is the fifth month in a row that unemployment has risen, although at 2.3 per cent, the county remains below the national average of 2.9 per cent.

There were rises across all six of the county’s districts.

Barrow saw the biggest, with 55 new claims, taking the total to 1,270 and representing 3.1 per cent of the working age population.

South Lakeland was not far behind, with 50 more claims, although the total of 620 represents just 1 per cent of the district’s working age population.

Carlisle saw another rise, by 35, and now has a total of 1,625 claimants (2.5 per cent), while neighbouring Eden recorded 10 new claims, taking the total to 430 (1.4 per cent).

Both West Cumbria districts also saw sizeable increases.

There were 30 new claims in Copeland and now has 1,230 people termed unemployed (3 per cent), while Allerdale recorded 25 new claims, taking its total to 1,560 (2.7 per cent).

The latest figures mean that Barrow and Copeland remain the only Cumbrian district to sit above the national average.

The increase in unemployment has coincided with the introduction of the controversial Universal Credit system across the county, which was completed in December 2018.

The full rollout is expected to take another three or so years.

Meanwhile, the number of job postings in Cumbria fell by 55 in November to 2,283 – although the figure is above that for November 2018.

Nationally, the unemployment figure fell by 13,000 to 1.28 million for the quarter to November to its lowest level in 44 years, said the ONS, while the number of people in work rose by 24,000 to 32.8m.