Mike Penning purrs as jobless rate in Dacorum borough dips below milestone 3 per cent

Mike Penning MP cutting the ribbon and declaring open the Dacorum Look No Further business expo at Shendish Manor Hotel
Mike Penning MP cutting the ribbon and declaring open the Dacorum Look No Further business expo at Shendish Manor Hotel

Dacorum’s jobless rate has dipped below a milestone 3 per cent, despite dire predictions that it would never reach that level.

A drop of 134 people from the dole queue in last month’s figures, continuing a fall seen in the last year, was welcomed by business leaders and Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning.

Mr Penning opened the Dacorum Look No Further business expo at Shendish Manor, in Apsley, today (Friday) by praising the work of Dacorum Borough Council.

“A job centre manager told me five years ago that we would never get the unemployment rate below 3 per cent,” said Mr Penning. “We are at 2.9 per cent today. We have done the most remarkable turn around.”

Mr Penning said the hard work of promoting Dacorum by the borough council was paying off, particularly with companies moving into the Maylands business park in Hemel Hempstead.

But he added: “We have a lot more to do. We have come an enormous long way since the Buncefield explosion in 2005 and it couldn’t have been done without Dacorum and the leadership of Danny Zammit.”

Pippa Hutchinson, business development and engagement manager at Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry said the fall in unemployment was a real feather in Dacorum’s cap. “Dacorum has the most people coming off the claimant count in the last month and year-on-year,” she said.

She said on the whole business across the county was feeling positive about the future.