May 23 2013 Latest news:
by John Phillips , Senior Reporter
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The jobless claimant count has fallen to its lowest level for nearly a year in Barking and Dagenham, figures reveal.
The number of dole claimants fell to 7,375 last month in the borough, the biggest drop since July 2011, the latest Office for National Statistics numbers show.
The positive news for Barking and Dagenham came amid signs of improvement in the Labour market in the UK as a whole, with figures showing that unemployment had seen a reduction of 45,000 to 2.6million over the last quarter.
Between 6.5 per cent and 6.6 per cent of the working population received Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) at Job Centres in Barking and Dagenham between August 2011 and March 2011. This fell to 6.4 per cent last month with 7,375 JSA claimants.
However, the statistics also revealed that long-term youth unemployment had more than doubled in the capital in the last year to April 2012. In Barking and Dagenham the number of jobless 16 to 24-year-olds still looking for work after six months soared by 136 per cent from 375 to 885.
Labour London assembly member John Biggs called on the government to introduce a bankers’ bonus tax to fight youth unemployment and build new homes.
He said: “Whilst overall unemployment is down slightly these large increases in youth and also long-term unemployment are deeply worrying.
“In recessions of the ‘80s and ‘90s we saw youth unemployment sky-rocket and the creation of a ‘lost–generation’. We must do all we can to stop that happening again.”
Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “These figures are a welcome step in the right direction. For a number of months now, employment has been growing and this is starting to feed through into improving unemployment figures.
“However, we still face significant international uncertainty so we need to hold firm on our current economic strategy and continue to do everything we can to ensure unemployment continues to fall.”
But unemployment figures are still significantly higher in Barking and Dagenham compared to other parts of London and the UK as a whole.
Some 4.3 per cent of Londoners and 4 per cent of people in the UK claimed JSA in April 2012.
The Financial Skills Partnership, which works on behalf of employers, said the new set of figures was “encouraging” and showed there was “hope on the horizon”.
Partnership chief executive Liz Field said: “This is encouraging news, as it seems to confirm a continued upward trend in employment. Previous indicators had been that hiring intentions were stronger than they had been for some time in the finance and insurance sectors, and increasing numbers of businesses were complaining about skills’ gaps, so this should mean more opportunities for jobseekers.”
A wood machinist who sliced three of his fingers on an industrial blade, needing one to be amputated, has won thousands of pounds in compensation from the firm where he was employed.
Residents are being asked for their views on the council’s efforts to tackle the large number of betting shops in the borough.
Brave young Scouts braced themselves for a night of ghoulish storytelling in a spooky mansion.