Council reveals 80 per cent increase in a year in numbers seeking Jobseeker's Allowance

NUMBERS claiming Jobseekers Allowance in Fenland rocketed by 80 per cent between August 2008 and August 2009. The figures were released today by Alan Pain, corporate director of Fenland District Council, who said unemployment in Fenland during August stoo

NUMBERS claiming Jobseekers Allowance in Fenland rocketed by 80 per cent between August 2008 and August 2009.

The figures were released today by Alan Pain, corporate director of Fenland District Council, who said unemployment in Fenland during August stood at 4.1 per cent.

"Fenland remains as the only Cambridgeshire district to have an unemployment rate higher than the regional figure of 3.5 per cent, although the rate is now below the England average of 4.2 per cent," he said.

In August 2009 there were 2,198 Fenland residents claiming Jobseeker's Allowance compared to 1,221 in August 2008.


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The figures form part of an update on the economic downturn in Fenland and how partner agencies are working to mitigate some of its worst affects.

Mr Pain said a consequence of rising unemployment had seen a number of people going into business themselves "as a response to fears of layoffs and redundancy."

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Business Link had fielded an increase in calls from individuals in Fenland looking for advice and this had led to an increase number of start-ups. In the past three months there had been 46 new businesses started in Fenland.

Other consequences of the recession included the numbers making benefit claims, and in Fenland the number now receiving benefits was currently 9,311, an overall increase of 8.2 per cent since October last year.

Mr Pain told the Fenland Strategic Partnership Board - a cross section of agencies working in the public, private, charitable and voluntary sectors- that a wide range of measures were helping to ensure the district cooped with the recession.

One initiative he outlined was a proposal by Roddons Housing Association to acquire private sector homes on new developments and turn them into affordable social housing.

Mr Pain said the scale of the UK recession could not be understated and it was vital "to continue to monitor the impact of the economic downturn in Fenland.

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