Eastleigh jobless total back to pre-recession levels

Eastleigh jobcentre

Unemployment in Eastleigh as measured by the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance is now at its lowest since May 2008 just before the recession struck.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics have shows there were 901 jobseekers in the borough last month – or 1.1% of the working age population.

The number of JSA claimants in Eastleigh peaked in August 2009 when there were 2021 claimants (2.5%).

The record unemployment low was in November 2007 when there was just 723 JSA claimants or 0.9%. The latest drop in unemployment is in line with national figures that show a decline to a five-year of low 1.14 million jobseekers or 2.9% of the UK working age population.

Overall it is estimated there are 2.24 million people unemployed in the country or 6.9%. There is no general unemployment figures issued for Eastleigh but the closest comparable data is for the number of people in the borough who are receiving key DWP out of work benefits – including JSA and ESA disability payments.

The latest figures reveal there are 6,360 people in Eastleigh’s working age population, or 7.9%, out of work.

The hardest hit area is Eastleigh South where there are 905 people or 15.25% of the working age population on jobless benefits – this is higher than the national average of 13.6%.

This is in contrast to more prosperous areas of the borough like Hiltingbury West where there are just 110 people on out of work benefits or Hedge End Grange Park the JSA claimant count is 0.6%.

National data shows a fall in the number of part-time workers but the number of people declaring themselves as ‘self employed’ has been outstripping job growth.

Many commentators point to a rise in ‘bogus’ self employment caused partly by companies employing people as self employed contractors thereby avoiding the need to pay national insurance and employee benefits – a practice the chancellor has pledged to crack down as employees fall outside of PAYE.

Another cause in self-employment growth is a result of unemployed persons moving from claiming JSA to more generous working tax credits payments simply by changing their the title of there employment status.

  6 comments for “Eastleigh jobless total back to pre-recession levels

  1. Rosie
    April 17, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    With fewer and fewer people being able to claim jobseekers allowance, the official “jobless” figures now bear no relation to the true number of unemployed people, especially in the mid-age to retirement age groups.

    • April 19, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Absolutely right Rosie. I’m a case in point

  2. Sue
    April 18, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Rosie I agree with you. I have been hearing the most awful stories re treatment of people by the DWP. One 25 year old I know got sanctioned because his cycle peddle came off and he ended up having to walk (pushing the bike) to his appointment. He was a bit late so “missed” the appointment and got sanctioned. This wasnt his first sanction. He dreaded going to sign on with all the impossible hoops he was being told he had to jump through. He ended up arriving on his mums doorstep, moving in and refusing to sign on at all :0( I also know people just trying to do odd jobs and sleeping on a friends sofa rather than sign on. So I really dont think the unemployed figures represent any sort of truth. Job Centre Plus is being turned into the same sort of deterent as the workhouse in a way.

  3. April 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    My experience of job centre now a little out of date – I was unemployed and claiming JSA for six months in 2009. When my contributions based JSA benefit dried up (pay in for 35 years – get six months worth of benefit out) it was suggested there was no longer any need to sign on.
    After I made it clear I had every intention of signing on regardless – until I got a job – I was asked “have you ever thought about becoming self-employed?”

    The deal was if I came up a business plan – any plan- hand painting coronation mugs, window cleaning, 24 hr emergency teeth flossing service etc I would qualify for tax-free handouts no matter how unsound or doomed to failure the plan was.

    I would of course have to sign off.

    And that friends, is how Eastleigh News started.

    I don’t earn a living from the site but as our household outgoings are low my pension is enough to pay the bills – but if I didn’t have a pension to fall back on I would now be claiming maximum working tax credit.

    I have met a lot people who are ‘self employed’ as an alternative to being unemployed, who earn very little and are almost entirely subsidised by a taxpayer funded cocktail of working tax credit, child tax credit plus child and housing benefit.

    How is the government debt pile going these days?

    • April 19, 2014 at 11:06 am

      I’ve hit the same problem, but as a single person, worse – a single male with no dependents, the state has no interest in me…

      • Sue
        April 19, 2014 at 10:36 pm

        yes I know a guy who has just undergone his second major heart surgery and is homeless. Eastleigh council cannot help him at all. He is sleeping on a friends sofa for a few weeks but as he still cant work he’s really stuck :0( Re the difference between a single man and a single woman though there is none. Neither get helped. People just dont realise the size of the holes in the welfare system until they need to use it themselves :0(

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