Politician calls for banker tax to cut Newham unemployment rate

More than 900 young people in Newham have now been out of a job for more than six months.

Latest figures show almost 11 per cent of the boroughs 18 to 24-year-olds are without work.

This proportion exceeds the national average and represents a 10 per cent increase on last year.

A total of 11,671 people were registered as unemployed on January 12, the first time the figure has increased in three months.

Long term, the borough’s job market shows no signs of improving. The number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance is up year on year by 1,225.

Politicians wasted no time in urging the government to take action.

John Biggs, London Assembly member for City and East, called for a tax on bankers’ bonuses to tackle youth unemployment.

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He said: “Instead of taking a hands-off approach, the government and Mayor Boris Johnson need to use all their powers to get Londoners back to work.

“It was the bankers who got us into this mess and it is about time they paid their fair share to help our young people who are bearing the brunt of a recession they did nothing to cause.”

The statistics also show that Newham now has the second-highest number of unemployed in London.

Lord Freud, minister for welfare reform, said the figures showed a more stable outlook for young people.

“However, we are not complacent,” he added. “With more people in the labour market, we know that competition for jobs is tough and we will continue to make it our priority to find people work.”