Sunday, 19 December 2010

Calm before the storm? Eight new jobseekers in November

According to the Office of National Statistics there are now 9,995 people in Hackney claiming jobseekers allowance (JSA). The figures are for November and show an increase of eight new jobseekers allowance (JSA) claimants on the October total of 9,987.

This represents about 6.6% of the borough's working population of about 150,000 and although small it is the fifth consecutive monthly increase in the number of JSA claimants.


While Hackney as a whole saw the number of people on the dole increase, Hackney North saw the number of its residents claiming JSA fall by five. But Hackney South saw the number of claimants increase by 19.

As such Hackney's JSA claimant count should have increased by 14 in November but due to statistical anomalies, the total JSA count has increased by just eight.

The big question is how much will Hackney's employment rate suffer from the government cuts. There seem to be a number of different views on how dependent Hackney is on public sector jobs and the effect of the cuts on the borough.

The borough's working population appears to be highly weighted toward managerial and professional jobs according to the borough's latest economic factsheet:

"In 2008, 58% of Hackney’s population were employed in managerial, professional and associate professional and technical occupations. Another 23% were employed in administrative, skilled trades and personal service occupations, and the final 18% of employees were concentrated in sales and customer service, process plant and machine operations and elementary occupations.

"Some 41% of Hackney’s employed residents are employed in professional and associate professional occupations. These split between the two, associate professional and technical occupations including science, and engineering technicians and IT service delivery; health, public service and social work associate professionals, culture media and sport occupations, and business, legal and finance professionals; and professionals such as engineers, software professionals, solicitors, accountants and architects. The third largest category (17%) are employed in various management occupations.

At the other end of the distribution, 8.5% of Hackney’s employees are employed as cleaners, security wardens, postal workers and couriers, hospitality workers and elementary sales. The final category with a significant amount of employees is the administrative and secretarial occupations.

The composition of the borough's working population may make it hard to predict what economic scenarios are good or bad for the level of unemployment in the borough. Also, the fact that these jobs are managerial does not mean that they are not in the public sector.

November: 9,995 (6.6%) - (9,995/0.066=151,439) (+8)
October: 9,987 (6.6%) - (9,987/0.066=151,318) (+60)
September: 9,927 (6.6%) - (9,927/0.066=150,409) (+136)
August: 9,791 (6.5%) - (9,791/0.065=150,630) (+325)
July: 9,466 (6.3%) - (9466/0.063= 150,253) (+60)
June : 9,406 (6.5%) (9,406/ 0.065 = 144,707) (-210)
May: 9,616 (6.7%) (9,616/.067=143,522) ()
April: 9,663 (6.7%) (9,663/.067=144,223)
March: 9,846 (6.8%) (9,846/0.68=144,794)
February: 10,044 (7%)
January: 9,905 (6.9%)

December: 9743 (6.7%)
November: 9,795 (6.8%)
October: 9,827 (6.8%)
September: 9,884 (7%)
August 9,826 (6.9%) (+276)
July: 9550 (6.7%) (+242)
June: 9,308 (6.6%) ()
May: 9,377 (6.6%) (+379)
April: 8,998 (6.3%) (+373)
March: 8,625 (6.1%) (+ 471)
February: 8,154 (5.7%) (+ 804)
January: 7,350 (5.2%)

December: 7,245 (5.1%)
November - 7,013 (4.9%)
October - 6,982 (4.9%)
September - 6,942 (4.9%)
August - 6,803 (4.8%)
July - 6,454 (4.6%)
June - 6,440 (4.6%)

Hackney North

Nov - 4,794 (6.2%) - (4,794/0.062=77,323)(-5)
Oct - 4,801 (6.2%) - (4,801/0.062= 77,435)(+29)
Sept - 4,772 (6.2%) - (4,709/0.062=76,967) (+63)
August - 4,709 (6.1%) - (4,709/0.061= 77,197)(+171)
July - 4,572 (5.9%) - (4,572/0.059= 77,491)(+34)
June - 4,538 (6.0%) - (4,538/0.06= 75,633)(-99)
May - 4,637 (6.2%) - (4,637/0.062=74,790)(-90)
April - 4,727 (6.3%) - (4,727/0.063=75,031)(+391)
March - 4,336 (6.2%) - (4,336/0.062=69,935)(-114)
February - 4,450 (6.4%) - (4,450/0.064=69,531)(+48)
January - 4,402 (6.3%) - (4,402/0.063=69,873)

December - 4331 (6.2%)
November - 4386 (6.3%)
October - 4365
September - 4,338
August - 4,331
July - 4206
June - 4,118
May - 4,081

Hackney South

Nov - 5,183 (7.3%) - (5,183/0.0.73=71,000) (+19)
Oct - 5,164 (7.3%) - (5,164/0.073=70,739)(+24)
Sept - 5,140 (7.3%) - (5,140/0.073=70,410)(+84)
August - 5,056 (7.1%) - (5,056/0.071 = 71,211)(+185)
July - 4,871 (6.9%) - (4,871/0.069= 70,549)(+20)
June - 4,851 (7.0%) - (4,851/0.07= 69,300) (-108)
May - 4,959 (7.2%) - (4,959/0.072=68,875)
April - 4,908 (7.1%) - (4908/0.071=69,126)
March - 5,510 (7.6%) - (5,510/0.076=72,500)
February - 5,594 (7.7%) - (5,594/0.077=72,649)
January - 5503 (7.6%) - (5503/0.076)=72,407)

December - 5,412 (7.5%)
November - 5,409 (7.5%)
October - 5,462
September - 5,546 (7.8%)
August - 5,495
July - 5,344
June - 5,190
May - 5,296

Monday, 13 December 2010

Gangs or no gangs...will we ever know?

When a Hackney youth club closed down in August the Hackney Gazette reported (21 Oct) that it had something to do with a lease... or some "minor refurbishments".

A week later, in a full council meeting, Hoxton councillor Philip Glanville claimed that the club's management had closed it down because of gangs. He said that the claims had been made in emails to the council from SkyWay, the organisation which runs the Blue Hut youth club.
In the Gazette's October story a council spokesperson said that the club would re-open in the new year. Those plans are still in place but the story of the club's closure remains mysterious because of these claims about gangs.

Skyway's allegations were pursued by Hoxton's Labour councillors - Clayeon Mackenzie, Philip Glanville and Carole Williams. Cllr Glanville said that the Dalston-based SkyWay didn't report these gang-related problems to the police or the council or anyone else.

He brought the issue to the attention of a full council meeting in October when a report by the Children and Young People (CYP) Scrutiny Commission was published which claimed that Blue Hut was running well.

The report described the Blue Hut project as one that dealt specifically with gangs. It trained
15-24-year-olds to show their peers that, "there is an alternative to the gangs many young people will see on a daily basis."

Six months before the club was closed down by the alleged gang activity the CYP Scrutiny Commission visited and reported that: 'Staff at the Blue Hut said that the results so far have been very positive and they have seen a number of the peers grow in maturity & confidence..."

Glanville said that when Blue Hut closed "none of us could really believe that turn of events" adding that "SkyWay's initial response was that it was plagued by problems, we were worried that events had so quickly changed for the worst, or that something may have been misrepresented".

Now the centre could reopen with no further explanation of the alleged gang problem and why it wasn't reported.

Blood and Property called SkyWay but no one would comment or even say that the organisation was officially making "no comment".

The reopening may be good news but something must have been wrong for this to have happened. Either there was a gang problem or there wasn't. It seems unlikey that the decision by SkyWay to shut down the project was only due to a problem with a fire escape as it is now being portrayed.

Hopefully it hasn't been made difficult for SkyWay to explain the true nature of the situation.

In April a 16-year-old girl was shot dead in a Hoxton chicken shop (Hackney Hive report with interesting comments) which resulted in a number of teenagers as well as a couple of men in their twenties being charged.

So the idea that there might be a gang problem in Hoxton is not exactly far-fetched - it just doesn't sound like a valid reason to close down a project designed to deal with gang problems.

Cannabis factory discovered on Sunday

    Press release from Hackney Police:

    On Sunday, December 12 at around 13:20, officers from Hackney Police received a call regarding a man trying to break into a derelict factory workshop in Tudor Road, E9.

    On arrival at the scene, officers came across one man attempting to gain entry.

    On speaking to the man, he said he was working on the door. He was asked to open the door at which point he ran past officers towards Mare Street. Officers gave chase and he was detained and brought back to the original venue.

    On gaining entry to the premises to investigate the reason for the suspect's behaviour, the ground floor was searched. Nothing was found apart from construction and demolition debris.

    On ascending to the first floor, officers discovered a length of plastic sheeting sealed against a doorway entrance. On peeling this back, several cannabis plants could be seen to be densely packed together in plant pots, with lengths of cabling were strung along the ceiling. Further investigation revealed in excess of one thousand cannabis plants spread across two floors of the premises, including a fully-functioning hydroponics system rigged up to a water tank and heat lamps.

    The 41 year old man was arrested for cultivation of cannabis and abstraction of electricity. A name check conducted on his identity revealed he was also wanted for drugs supply offences in West Yorkshire and cannabis cultivation in South London, and he was further arrested in relation to these offences and taken to Shoreditch Police Station.

    Investigations continue. Anyone with any information about cannabis factories on Hackney Borough is requested to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.