East London areas top UK employment blackspots

pic: Kashfi Halford (Flickr)

Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Lewisham have been named in the top 10 employment blackspots across the country.

The boroughs figure in a list compiled after the release of jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) claimant figures last week and are based on the number of claimants for every job.

Other London boroughs were Haringey, which came in at number one, and Waltham Forest, which came in at number six.

Lewisham is the second worst borough, with Hackney in fourth place and Tower Hamlets has entered the top 10 for the first time.  This comes after EastLondonLines reported last week a 13 per cent rise in unemployment in Tower Hamlets last year. That means 14 people are chasing after each job centre vacancy.

Although Tower Hamlets has higher levels of unemployment than Lewisham, the situation is not as bad. There are more job vacancies in the borough than in Lewisham, where 22 people are vying for every job centre vacancy, nearly double the number in Tower Hamlets where there are 13 people competing for each position available.

In Croydon, which did not feature in the top 10, nearly 11,000 are jobless though for each vacancy, seven people compete for a place.

MPs in Hackney and Lewisham criticised the figures, expressing their concerns for the joblessness issue and growing youth unemployment.

Source: nomisweb.co.uk

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, spoke of her worries for two groups: young people and older people over the age of 50.

She said: “I’ve had young people come to me who have been made redundant at the age of 23. We are letting down a generation.” The MP added that it was important to help people get the necessary qualifications for employment.

Joan Ruddock MP for Lewisham, Deptford said the figures were “absolutely devastating” and spoke of the need to “kickstart the economy”.

Both MPs spoke of their commitment to helping to lower unemployment levels in their respective boroughs.

Ruddock said she was trying “very hard,” supporting apprenticeships and talking to developers to encourage the construction industry to provide more jobs for the area.

Over 400,000 people are unemployed in the capital and one in 10 Londoners are out of work; 20 per cent of 16-24 year olds in London are jobless. The national rate of joblessness has hit 8.3 per cent, the worst since 1996.

There will be an Olympics jobs fair open to Hackney residents on Friday, November 25, 10am to 12pm, at the community centre, 8-9 Kingsmead Way, E9 5QG, located between Kingsmead GP surgery and Silverfields Chemists.

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