Buckinghamshire benefit claimant numbers 'highest since March 2015'

Job seeker numbers highest since March 2015
Job seeker numbers highest since March 2015

A report from Buckingham Business First has revealed The number of out of work Buckinghamshire residents claiming either Job Seekers’ Allowance or Universal Credit rose by 195 in January to reach 2,820, the highest total since March 2015.

The county’s claimant count rate rose to 0.9 per cent of working age residents in January, now ranking 6th lowest rate among county councils and the 4th lowest among LEPs [local enterprise partnerships]. In England, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses set up in 2011 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to help determine local economic priorities and lead economic growth and job creation within the local area.

While the claimant count rose by just 0.1 per cent across Great Britain over the last year, Buckinghamshire saw a rise of 12.8 per cent.

Aylesbury Vale’s 23.9 per cent rise was the 18th highest of all 380 local authority districts in Great Britain. All five Parliamentary constituencies also recorded a rise over the last year, ranging from a 32.1 per cent increase in Buckingham to 2.2 per cent Wycombe.

Rural parts of the country saw the number of claimants rise 21.5 per cent over the year, compared to 10.0 per cent in urban parts, although the rural claimant count rate remains well below the urban rate.

There were 5,990 advertised job openings in Buckinghamshire in January, 1,697 (39.5 per cent) more than in December and 577 (10.7 per cent) more than in the previous January.

More than 60 per cent of Buckinghamshire’s Job Seekers’ Allowance claimants are looking for work in sales occupations, predominantly as retail assistants, while programmers and software development professionals are the most sought by employers.