East London jobseeker numbers “at a record high” as up to 35 people compete for each job vacancy

Lewisham tops the tables with 35 jobseekers competing for every job pic: Kashfi Halford flickr

Lewisham has the highest number of jobseekers for every employment vacancy in England, according to latest figures released by the Trade Union Congress. There are now 35 jobseekers competing for each vacancy in Lewisham.

The number of unemployed people chasing a job vacancy in the borough is 29 more than the national average, which has 6 people battling over each job.

In total 10,567 jobseekers are competing for the 305 job vacancies available in Lewisham. Lewisham replaced Haringey at the top spot this week, with figures rising dramatically in the past three months. EastLondonLines reported a ratio of 22.6 jobseekers for each vacancy in November 2011.

Figures also revealed that Hackney had the third highest ratio in the country, with 11,076 people chasing 501 jobs. This means there are 22 people for each vacancy.

Tower Hamlets has the ninth highest ratio in the country, with 17 people applying for every one job. However, the borough is ranked fifth in the list of the highest unemployment figures in the country.

Croydon was thirtieth in England, with a comparatively lower ratio of 11 jobseekers for every vacancy. Although Croydon’s unemployment figures are very similar to the other three boroughs, there are three times more jobs for jobseekers to apply for.

Richard Exell, senior policy officer of TUC, said: “The reason we have such high unemployment is that there simply aren’t enough jobs for the people who want to work.”

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber called for government action on the issue. He said: “It’s disappointing that with the UK in the middle of a jobs crisis, the best ministers can do is bury their heads in the sand and blame the unemployed for not being in work.

“The fact is that the ratio of jobseekers to jobs is at a record high, with parts of the country suffering terrible job shortages. There are a quarter of a million fewer jobs – and more than a million more jobseekers – than before the recession.

“It makes you wonder how bad our unemployment crisis needs to get before ministers start taking it seriously”, he continued.

There are 2.7 million unemployed people in the UK. One million of them are aged 16 to 24.

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