Number of jobless drops one-third in Croydon

Pic: Carol.

Pic: Carol.

Croydon recorded a drop of almost one-third in the number of people claiming job seeker’s allowance (JSA) compared with last year, according to new statistics.

This is the sixth biggest drop among London boroughs.

Figures from the latest Labour Market Bulletin, prepared by the Office for National Statistics, indicate that 6,150 people were on JSA in Croydon in June 2014 – a decrease of 32 per cent from the previous year.

The number of claimants is now the lowest of the four EastLondonLines boroughs, although the number of claimants in Lewisham (6,676), Hackney (6,797) and Tower Hamlets (6,643) also decreased.

The drop in the overall figure is mirrored by the decline in young people currently claiming JSA, as the 18-24 year old group decreased to 1,280, a 33 per cent reduction on this time last year.

“These new jobs figures are great for the borough now, and great for its future and the prospects of its residents,” said Councillor Toni Letts, cabinet member for economic development in Croydon.

Pathways to Employment, a joint programme between the council, Jobcentre Plus, local charities and the private sector, aims to bring 16,000 new jobs to the borough over the next four years and further lower JSA levels.

The Pathways programme is part of the council’s Growth Plan, which has identified a list of objectives to encourage the growth of the borough.

Plans include the revitalisation of district centres and the establishment of Croydon town centre – badly damaged during the London riots in August 2011 as shops were looted and businesses and homes burnt down – as a premier retail and leisure destination.

Letts said: “The growth of our borough will create jobs and homes, and this plan ensures that the council is leading from the front in delivering these opportunities which will have widely felt benefits for our residents.”

Two and a half percent of the working age population in Croydon claims JSA, just below the national average of 2.6 percent.

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