Jobless numbers climb for fifth month

Jobless numbers rose for the fifth consecutive month in Newham in April, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics reported that those on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in the borough climbed by 4.5 per cent, or almost 500, to 11,284, marking the biggest rise so far this year.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions attributed the rise in overall unemployment in April to the shifting of some people from incapacity benefits onto JSA.

Whereas nationally, unemployment was down year-on-year in April, it rose by more than 1,000 in Newham from 10,171 in April 2010.

The borough has the second highest number of jobless in the capital, behind Lambeth with 11,799 out of work.

In percentage terms, with 7 per cent of its population on JSA, Newham is second only to Hackney with 7.2 per cent.

Newham remains the worst borough for youth unemployment in London with figures up for the fourth consecutive month, by 5 per cent, or 135, to 2,965.

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The figures come as The Prince’s Trust youth charity releases a report documenting a growing “youth underclass” in London.

Broke Not Broken: Tackling Youth Poverty and The Ambition Crisis reveals that 43 per cent of children in Newham are growing up beneath the poverty line and have little aspiration.

The Prince’s Trust offers training, personal development and work experience programmes to young people.

Christopher Fenn, 22, is currently on The Prince’s Trust Team programme in Newham.

The youngster who has been looking for work for five years after leaving school with few GCSEs said: “I’m really enjoying it - I’ve never done anything like this before and now I feel more hopeful about my future.

“I want to work in IT and I feel like this dream is possible for the first time.”