The government is closing or merging dozens of Jobcentres, putting 750 jobs at risk

 
Emma Haslett
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Latest Figures Show UK Unemployment Has Risen Above 2 Million
Unemployment is at a record low (Source: Getty)

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has unveiled plans to merge or close dozens of jobcentres, putting 750 jobs at risk.

DWP said it was planning to merge 68 Jobcentres into larger ones nearby, while four will be moved to new sites and 40 will be moved in with other local authority or community services.

Meanwhile, four offices will be closed, while 800 will be retained, and the structure of the organisation will be shaken up to create seven regional corporate hubs in six cities, including a new office in Manchester.

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DWP said eight in 10 claims for Jobseeker's Allowance and 99 per cent of universal credit full service claims are now made online. The move will save taxpayers over £140m a year for the next 10 years, it added.

“We will always make sure that people have the support they need to get into and progress within work," said Damian Hinds, minister for employment.

"These changes reflect the fact that more people access their benefits online resulting in many of our buildings being underused.

“We’re merging some offices and locating other jobcentres with local authorities to make sure that the welfare state and our employment support works for those who need it and those who pay for it.”

Official figures published last month showed employment in the UK was at 74.8m between February and April, a record high, while unemployment was at 4.6 per cent, its joint lowest since 1975.

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