The seaside towns around the south-east could be even harder hit by unemployment than previously thought, according to a new academic study.
Thanet's first 'MPs Jobs Fair' hosted by two Kent politicians attracted thousands of jobseekers today. Unemployment in the area is high.
A jobs fair held in Kent has attracted thousands of people looking for work.
The number of people in Reading claiming jobseekers allowance has fallen for the sixth month in a row.
Latest unemployment figures show 171 fewer people were getting the benefit in the town. It comes following a job fair held at Reading's Broad Street Mall last month.
The Government claims that its flagship back to work scheme, the Work Programme, has taken tens of thousands of claimants off of benefits and transformed people's lives for the better.
However recently released figures have found that in half of the areas where the Work Programme is in force, participants would have been more likely to get a job if they had not taken part.
ITV Meridian's Social Affairs correspondent Christine Alsford has been looking at the view from the South.
The Employment Minister and Fareham MP, Mark Hoban, has been talking about the disappointing unemployment figures for the South East, published on Wednesday 20 March.
Numbers for the last financial quarter released by the Office for National Statistics, reveal that unemployment in the region has increased by 6.6%, with 16,000 more people unemployed.
While there may have been an increase in the number of people in the labour market out of work, the South East remains the region with the second lowest level of unemployment in the UK after the South West.
The facts and figures behind today's rise in the jobless total have been pulled together into a video by the Office For National Statistics.
– Frances O'Grady, TUC general secretary
Today's figures confirm our fears that economic stagnation has finally caught up with the jobs market.
Young people are bearing the brunt of our jobs crisis, with the number of unemployed youngsters up 48,000 and approaching a million again.
The news for those in work is not much better, with the gap between wages and the rising cost of living getting even wider.
We won't see a proper recovery in the jobs market until we get growth back into the economy. That's why the Chancellor must change course and prioritise jobs, growth and living standards in his Budget today.
Unemployment increased by 7,000 between November and January to 2.52 million. The ONS figures also show the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance last month fell by 1,500 to 1.54 million.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith has said that the recent employment figures are positive with unemployment figures dropping and those "never expected to work, sickness benefits, lone parents - they're now going back to work."
The Development Manager of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) for the Wessex area has responded to an overall drop in the unemployment rate. Neil Eames' patch covers Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. He called on the Government to do more to support small firms.
“_The fall in the unemployment rate again shows positive signs, especially as the number of people in full time work is up. The continued increase in self-employment, while partly a consequence of job losses elsewhere, highlights the remarkable resilience of the labour market at a time when the economy remains fragile. _
– Neil Eames, Development Manager, FSB Wessex Region
These people, with the right support, will be the job creators of the future. With only a month to go until the Budget, we need to see the Government take concrete steps to support enterprise and recognise the critical social and economic role played by small firms in the labour market.”_