Monday, 14 June 2010

"Shocking" Hackney highlighted in employment report

Last year Diane Abbott responded to criticism that Hackney North had 92 job seekers per job available. The issue has been raised again, this time by the TUC in Dole claimants outnumber vacancies by five to one.

In the research the TUC said: "London is the worst hit area with nearly eight JSA claimants for every job vacancy. Seven of the top ten unemployment blackspots are in the Capital, including Hackney where claimants outnumber vacancies by a shocking 24 to 1."

This looks tame compared to the 92 jobs per claimant figure from October 2009, referred to here by Darren Caplan (Conservative candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington in May) - details should be in here Regional Monthly Data - October 2009 somewhere.

At the time Caplan criticised Diane Abbott for not mentioning unemployment problems: "Hackney North & Stoke Newngton has by far the worst situation for job seekers than any other area in the country, nine times the national average. Yet we haven’t heard Diane Abott’s views on this, despite her regularly being all over the airwaves talking about national and international issues."

A few days later Diane wrote a piece in the Hackney Gazette saying: "Recently figures were published which revealed that Hackney North and Stoke Newington had a very high ratio of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance compared to the number of jobs available at the local Job Centre Plus. This is a misleading figure. It does not relate to the overall rate of unemployment in Hackney."

She said: "This is because many Hackney North and Stoke Newington residents find work outside of the constituency: on the Olympic Park or in the City for example. And the figure is based on jobs available at the local Job Centre. But many employers do not advertise at the Job Centre. So the actual number of jobs available to people in Hackney is much higher than those advertised at the Job Centre."

She then made the claim that: "This year Hackney North and Stoke Newington has seen one of the lowest rises in unemployment in the entire country."

Blood and Property asked her where she found this happy news - it wasn't obvious from the ONS figures. Discussed here: Meg Hillier Vs Diane Abbott on unemployment

Last month Abbott's constituency saw an increase in the number of unemployed people due to a boundary change which appears to have shifted the bulk of the borough's unemployment problem into her constituency.

Meanwhile she has warned that public sector spending cuts could have dire consequences for Hackney (like a pit village after the mine has closed)

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