Eastleigh unemployment hits 5 year low

Eastleigh jobcentre

There is fresh evidence that the  recovery in the local economy is continuing with the release of today’s national unemployment figures which shows that the number of job seekers in the borough has fallen to its lowest level since January 2008, before the recession struck.

There are currently 859 jobseekers in the borough, down from 901 last month which is less than half of the recession peak of 2,032 claimants in November 2009.

This represents just 1.1% of the working age population well under the national average of 2.7%.

These figures are just unemployment benefit claimants – the total number of people out of work is higher, but local figures are not available. Nationally the total number out of work has also dropped to a five year low.

The positive news coincides with an announcement made today by the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney who said that the British economy is now heading “back to normal”.

Construction has been major employment driver, having been stimulated by low interest rates and taxpayer funded buyer incentive schemes like ‘Help to Buy’.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors warned in their quarterly report last month that the pick up in construction has been so strong, there is now a lack of skilled workers across many trades in the building industry and that this could threaten the pace of recovery.

Welcoming the news that the number of benefit claimants is now back to pre-recession levels the Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council Cllr Keith House told Eastleigh News:

“We are certainly seeing the economy picking up in a range of sectors.  Construction is booming and the number of retailers in discussion with the Council looking to locate in Eastleigh and Hedge End is very positive.

Eastleigh’s MP Mike Thornton said:

“This is more excellent news for Eastleigh. It is great news for the businesses creating these jobs and for the many hard-working people behind those numbers who are now able to take home a pay packet and provide for their families.”

“It is important we use this momentum to ensure more skilled jobs are created.

This is why I am particularly pleased with the huge boost to apprenticeships delivered by the coalition government, with more than 3000 new apprenticeships since 2010 in Eastleigh Borough alone.”

  13 comments for “Eastleigh unemployment hits 5 year low

  1. Sue
    May 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Do you know if all those being sanctioned are still counted in the figures? And is it ever possible to find out all those who are unemployed and not signing on?

  2. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    May 14, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Figures are for people receiving jobseekers allowance aka unemployment benefit.

    Not everyone out of work is entitled to it and not all want to claim it – the local employment data issued by ONS does not include the total unemployed but we see that figure rises or falls proportionately in line with claimant count nationally so its safe to assume that is happening here too.

    A figure ONS does release for Eastleigh is total number of peeps of working age claiming ‘key out of work benefits’ including JSA but this includes people too incapacitated to work – and their carers.

    Should we include them?

    Another problem with those stats is they are only updated every three months and retrospectively so the most up to date figure is November 2013 but that showed there were 6,270 people in borough claiming out of work benefits.

    This number has been falling steadily since February 2012 in line with Jobseeker numbers.

    The bottom line is unemployment is falling – I haven’t done an empty shop survey for a while but I think you will find there are fewer voids in town.

    As for the number of people in employment how many of those are part time or on zero hours or are bogus self employed?

    How many earn enough to pay tax? How many are being subsidised through in work benefits like tax credits and housing benefits?

    I think though, taking all things into consideration, the job market has improved considerably compared to 2009 and you only have to walk around the town to realise things are busier than they were.

    Of course, how long can this last?

    IMO not long I’m afraid as I’m one of those half-empty glass people but I’m raising it here to toast the news that things have improved for some people…for a bit at least…

    Re the number of people having been sanctioned…sounds like a freedom of information request to me.

    • Sue
      May 14, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      Thank you for that thorough reply :0) It’s a shame there is no break down by type of employment —- hours, zero hours etc. Because of course when labour becomes cheap enough, and the unemployed are not allowed to refuse any type of awful employment, then employers may well take on some staff. But does that mean that, as a whole, we are a “richer” country? For the benefit of the whole of society we need people in decent jobs with reasonable pay and terms of employment? That makes for contented citizens and ones who feel they have a real steak in their communities etc. They have a future to hope for. They can have maybe a week end away etc. Working 70 odd hours a week and still not being able to pay the bills (I would imagine) is more soul destroying than being unemployed?

  3. Rosie
    May 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Many people who would previously qualified for JSA no longer do.
    And, as the BBC points out, the number of people now “self employed” is much higher. Job Centres push people – especially middle aged women made redundant from high-paying careers – into “businesses” from hobbies, usually crafts. This reduces umemployment figures but produces very little income – for most, well under £500 pre-expenses per month!
    Many households have, therefore, lost half, or more, of their income yet can’t claim any benefits. And if the employed partner is paying 40% tax on some income, they can’t offset the higher rate tax against the “self employed” person paying no tax.
    The Con-Libs (and now Ed Milliband) are alienating these households by ignoring them, so no wonder so many former long-term Con-Lib-Lab voters are now voting UKIP or other parties!

  4. Pete Stewart
    May 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    The 50 year globalist experiment has let the DEVELOPED world compete with artificially cheap foreign labour from the DEVELOPING world. No wonder workers in the developed world are working like slaves. To compete with slaves, people must work like slaves. The only beneficiaries are the globalist entrepreneurs who exchange jobs in the developed world for cheap foreign labour. I’ll believe things are improving when the national debt and deficit go down.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      May 15, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      You are arguing for higher wages?

      • Pete Stewart
        May 16, 2014 at 7:08 pm

        Yes please!-)))

        • mm
          Eastleigh Xpress
          May 18, 2014 at 10:58 am

          Non EU member Switzerland is voting today on a £15 p h minimum wage…would you like to see that here?

          • Sue
            May 18, 2014 at 9:19 pm

            I would! And the money can be found by “taking” it from all those wealthiest people in the UK who have doubled (!) their wealth in the past 5 years. It seems austerity is really good for those at the top!

          • Pete Stewart
            May 19, 2014 at 9:13 pm

            I’d like to see it BUT …

            it could only happen outside the EU, because the EU-globalist political elite would oppose it.

    • maureen
      May 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      More to do but THE DEFICIT IS DOWN.

      • mm
        Eastleigh Xpress
        May 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm

        Yes, but I think you’ll find the debt has gone up!

  5. Sarah
    May 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    How ironic construction being a main driver – with Thornton and his puppet master bulldozing over eastleigh bit by bit….FIBDEMS

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