Second consecutive rise in jobless total

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Despite a second consecutive increase, the number of Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants in the Borders remained at one of lowest levels at the end of 2013.

Official figures just published show that in mid-December 1,707 people were claiming the benefit, up five from November, but still the third lowest total of the whole year.

The lowest it reached last year was 1,687, and the highest 2,282.