Unemployment offices closing despite demand

Jobcentre Plus offices are being closed down despite a doubling in claims for jobseeker’s allowance, new research has revealed.

Liberal Democrat research found jobseeker’s allowance claims have now hit 66,545.

But parliamentary answers reveal over 500 offices have closed since 2002. Unemployment has risen to an 11-year high and the government still has more closures planned.

“These are the first warning signs that the JobCentre Plus network is buckling under the weight of increasing unemployment,” said Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokesperson Jenny Willott.

“Ministers have left JobCentres short-staffed and ill-prepared for a recession.”

Even Jobcentre Plus employees are not able to maintain their jobs during the economic crisis. They have reduced their staff by 16,450 between 2004 and 2008.

“The government must stop any more planned JobCentre Plus closures, call an immediate halt to staff cuts and recruit more staff for JobCentre Plus as a matter of urgency,” Ms Willott added.