Number of single parents in work reaches highest level

There
are more single parents in work than ever before, according to new government
figures.

New
figures show there were 971,000 single parents in work in spring 2004, up
276,000 since 1997. At the same time, the number of lone parents claiming
benefits has fallen by a fifth, according to the Household Labour Force Survey
(HLFS) from the Office of National Statistics.

Minister
for Work, Jane Kennedy, said that more nursery places, combined with financial
support for single parents and the New Deal for Lone Parents, had caused the
rise.

She
said that increased childcare help and new financial packages being piloted,
such as the In-Work Credit and Work Search Premium, would build on the work to
further improve the lone parent employment rate.

By Michael Millar

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