The latest unemployment figures released last week show the number of people in Eastleigh claiming Job Seekers allowance has risen for the fifth month in a row to stand at 1630 with 4.5% of adults aged between 18 -24 on the dole. According to the Office for National Statistics, almost 1 in 10 people in the borough, over 7,000 of the working population, are now claiming key benefits.
Meanwhile the number of jobs available to jobseekers has fallen for the sixth consecutive month – officially standing at 289 available jobs.
A search of vacancies on the job centre website, however, shows only 93 of these vacancies are actually located in Eastleigh itself.
This means there are now 17½ jobseekers chasing every local vacancy.
Since 2008, when the council announced it was creating 9,000 new jobs in the ‘Riverside’ development zone the number of jobseekers has in fact doubled, while the number of available job vacancies has halved.
Meanwhile over the same period, the number of job seekers has risen by 10,000 in the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership area.
In January 2010 the council trumpeted in the local media that 400 jobs were to be created at the former railway works though these have yet to materialise.
The statistics also show the average wage in Eastleigh is considerably lower than the Regional or National Average.
Female workers in Eastleigh earn on average 22% less than male workers elsewhere in the South East according to the ONS.
Photo: Khalil Shah