Sharp drop for jobless queue

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JOBS: The number of people out of work and claiming benefits in South West Herts has dropped by more than 10 per cent.

In May there were 1,144 unemployed, compared to 1,280 in the same month last year.

However, the long term trend has been upwards with a 54 per cent increase in the past five years.

In 2006 there were 727 people out of work and on benefits.

The number of people jobless for a year or more has increased from 140 to 155 over the past 12 months.