The number of Britons claiming jobless benefit in October rose by the smallest amount in 18 months.The latest official figures also show the number of people in work rose by 6,000 in the three months to September, the first increase in over a year. The Office for National Statistics says claimant count unemployment rose by 12,900 last month; that is well below expert forecasts for an increase of 20,000. In September the number was 20,600. That has raised hopes that the worst of the recession has passed and that unemployment will peak at a lower level than previously feared. And a new survey showed the number of job openings in the financial services sector in the City of London just rose to the highest level in a year. In October there were 4,410 vacancies, up 15 percent on September.