Unemployment figure at lowest for a year in Barking and Dagenham

The jobless claimant count has fallen to its lowest level for nearly a year in Barking and Dagenham, new figures reveal.

The number of dole claimants fell to 7,215 last month in the borough, the biggest drop since July 2011, the latest Office for National Statistics numbers show.

The encouraging 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 51,000 to 2.61million.

Between 6.4 per cent and 6.6 per cent of the working population received Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) at job centres in Barking and Dagenham between July 2011 and April 2012. This fell to 6.3 per cent in May with 7,215 JSA claimants.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “Any fall in unemployment is very welcome but I remain cautious over the next few months given the continuing economic challenges we face.

“These figures show that with the right support in place, it is possible for the private sector to create jobs while the public sector employment is falling.”

Last month, Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce welcomed the fall in people claiming JSA.

Most Read

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 said the large increases in youth unemployment were “deeply worrying”.

Latest government figures showed the number of jobless people aged 16 to 24 on the dole for between six and 12 months had risen from 535 in March to 570 in April, but fallen back to 535 in May in Barking and Dagenham.

Unemployment figures are still significantly higher in Barking and Dagenham compared to other parts of London and the UK as a whole.

Some 4.2 per cent of Londoners and 3.9 per cent of people in the UK claimed JSA in May 2012.