Jobless figure triples for St Albans

PUBLISHED: 07:39 20 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:07 06 May 2010

ALMOST three times as many people claimed unemployment benefit in the district last month compared with the same time last year. In April 2008, there were only 685 claimants compared to 1,707 this year. That figure has risen dramatically since last Decem

ALMOST three times as many people claimed unemployment benefit in the district last month compared with the same time last year.

In April 2008, there were only 685 claimants compared to 1,707 this year.

That figure has risen dramatically since last December when 1,087 people in the St Albans district claimed benefit.

The rate of increase is higher than neighbouring councils in Watford and Dacorum - possibly due to the numbers of commuters made redundant from jobs in London's financial sector.

Once again last month there were more men than women claiming benefits - 1,228 compared to 479 women.

The number of job vacancies since April 2008 has halved from 776 to just 375.

Cllr Melvyn Teare, portfolio holder responsible for economic development, said: "I am not forecasting green shoots just yet but we must remember that there is always a delay involved where people have been made redundant. They are not allowed to register for benefits straightaway and some would have been put on notice.

"However, I cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel until about October."

Cllr Teare said that the executive job clubs set up with Oaklands College to provide support for people who had lost their jobs were proving to be a success and 60 people had so far received the benefit of the six week courses.


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