The number of job vacancies being advertised at the end of May was 32 percent lower than the same time last year, councillors have been told.

The data - recorded by the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – was reported to a meeting of the county council’s cabinet, on Monday (July 13), as part of an update on the response to Covid-19.

In the meeting, it was said that recruitment has increased in sectors such as healthcare, warehouse operations and site cleaning.

But overall the unemployment rate in Hertfordshire, was reported to have rose from 3.5 per cent to 5.2 per cent in May - this is more than double the unemployment rate that was recorded in January.

A report to the cabinet read: "This is expected to rise further over the coming months as the government furlough measures develop."

Meanwhile it was reported that by June 7, £185.5m in "small business grants" had been distributed to 13,878 businesses in the county.