Newham’s jobless hits fourteen-year high

There was no respite for the jobless in Newham in August as unemployment figures climbed for the ninth consecutive month.

The number of those seeking Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) rose by more than 200 to 11,957, a level not seen since 1997.

Newham is second only to Lambeth in the capital in terms of JSA claimant numbers and has the worst rate of unemployment in London, at 7.5 per cent.

In terms of youth joblessness, the claimant count rose for the second consecutive month to 3,360, up by almost 6 per cent, or 185, on the previous month; again a level not seen for 14 years.

Newham has the second highest number of youth unemployed in the capital, behind Tower Hamlets with 3,400.

The borough is second only to Waltham Forest in terms of the percentage of its youth workforce without a job at 11.8 per cent.

A spokesperson from youth charity The Prince’s Trust said: “It is deeply concerning that youth unemployment has risen sharply, with young people hit hardest and those out of work for more than a year increasing by nearly a fifth.

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“To tackle this downward spiral of youth unemployment, government, businesses and charities need to work together on schemes that work.

“More than three in four young people supported by The Prince’s Trust last year moved into work, education or training.”

The gloomy figures came as online learning provider learndirect published a report revealing that many young people in the capital were giving up hope of getting a job.

The study, entitled The Work Confident Report, shows that 95 per cent of long-term unemployed did not think there were any job vacancies to match their skills.

Around two-thirds of respondents said they had lost confidence in the last year, with 61 per cent settling for lower-paid work.

Sarah Jones, chief executive of learndirect, said: “The fact that 95 per cent of the unemployed in London don’t think there are jobs suitable for the skills they possess is shocking and shows there is still work to be done to get help people get the qualifications they need.”

On a positive note, John James, secretary of Newham Chamber of Commerce, said Westfield and other initiatives in Newham should provide a boost to job figures by the end of the year.