Jobs: Dole queues shrink in region despite some increases of women claiming unemployment benefits

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THE number of people unemployed and claiming benefit has followed the national trend by falling across many parts of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

But in some council areas the number of male claimants has fallen while the number of women on the dole has risen.

Figures compiled by the Office of National Statistics and released earlier today (Wednesday) showed the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance across the UK fell by 6,909 in the year to August 9.

The claimant count in Milton Keynes fell by 286 to 6,255 people, although the number of unemployed women increased by three.

In Aylesbury Vale the claimant count of 2,156 was 94 fewer than 2011, although, again, the number of unemployed women rose by 39.

In Dacorum, which includes Hemel Hempstead, the claimant count fell by 325. Only 2.4 per cent of the working age population was claiming benefits.

In Bedford borough the claimant count actually rose by 149 people on the year. A whopping 155 women joined the dole queue in the year. Six fewer men were unemployed and claiming JSA.

In Central Bedfordshire, which includes Dunstable and Shefford, the claimant count fell by 81 to 4,150.

In Luton there were 6,265 people on the dole on August 9, a cut of 197 on the year.

Neil Carberry, the CBI director for employment and skills, said: “Unemployment among young people remains a huge challenge. The number of young people out of work has risen this month, but this is alongside 75,000 more who have started actively looking for work, with 58,000 more young people finding work in the three months to July.”

And Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG Management Consulting, said: “The Government’s plans to boost lending to firms could help drive the economy forward, but that is only one part of the equation. As we move towards the end of the year questions remain about whether businesses can forge a link between finding the funds to hire talent and using the skills they recruit to drive performance, increase productivity and generate growth.”