Scottish industrial heartlands join inner London as worst place to find a job

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date: 13 May 2011

embargo: 00.01hrs Monday 16 May 2011

The Scottish industrial heartlands of West Dunbartonshire and East Ayrshire have overtaken inner London boroughs to become Britain's worst employment blackspots, a TUC analysis reveals today (Monday).

The TUC analysis, published ahead of the latest unemployment figures this week, looks at the proportion of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) claimants to Jobcentre Plus vacancies in every local authority from March 2005 to March 2011. This analysis ranks each of the 206 local authority areas by its claimant to vacancies ratio.

In March 2005 the London borough of Newham was ranked the worst employment blackspot in Britain with nearly 15 dole claimants per job vacancy.

In March 2011 West Dunbartonshire was ranked the worst place to find a job with over 40 dole claimants chasing every vacancy. The Scottish local authority area was ranked 38 in 2005, suggesting a marked decline in the local labour market since the recession.

Across Britain, the number of dole claimants per vacancy has quadrupled from 1.5 in 2005 to 6 this year.

While the TUC analysis finds strong evidence of persistent poor local job prospects - seven London boroughs, including Haringey and Lewisham, have been in the employment blackspots' top ten for at least four of the last seven years - job prospects in some local authority areas have changed a great deal.

The London boroughs of Southwark, Islington and Kensington & Chelsea - all among the top ten employment blackspots in 2005 - are now ranked at 43, 45 and 47 respectively. Southwark is one of only three local authorities in Britain to have a better claimant to vacancy ratio now than in 2005.

Moray in the Highlands has had the most positive labour market change relative to the rest of Britain, moving from a ranking of 26 in 2005 to 98 in 2011.

However areas such as West Dunbartonshire, South Lanarkshire and the Isle of Wight, not regarded as areas with particularly bad employment prospects in 2005, are now all in and around the top ten.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'People living in inner London boroughs have had tough job prospects for many years but since the recession new employment blackspots have emerged.

'There is a stark jobs divide across the country with parts of Scotland and the Tees Valley experiencing a far sharper downturn than parts of the South East.

'We are still in the midst of a jobs crisis. Dozens of towns and cities have more than ten dole claimants chasing every vacancy and areas on their doorstep are not faring much better. It's not good enough for ministers to brand those out of work as feckless and claim that there are plenty of jobs out there. The reality is very different.

'We need far better funded employment schemes than those currently being implemented to get people back into work and contributing to our economy again.

'Instead we are seeing thousands of Jobcentre staff losing their jobs at a time when their experience and expertise is needed most.

'Ultimately strong economic growth is the only way to tackle our jobs crisis but the government's deep and rapid spending cuts are jeopardising our chances of recovery. The government must change course before economic stagnation sets in.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Top ten employment blackspots, March 2011

Local area

Claimant count

Vacancies

Ratio

West Dunbartonshire

3,786

94

40.3

East Ayrshire

4,564

139

32.8

Haringey

10,300

352

29.3

North Ayrshire

5,522

196

28.2

Lewisham

9,618

371

25.9

Hackney

10,653

412

25.9

Greenwich

7,509

328

22.9

Eileen Saar (Western Isles)

533

25

21.3

Isle of Wight

3,557

186

19.1

Lambeth

11,425

598

19.1

Top ten employment blackspots, March 2005

Local area

Claimant count

Vacancies

Ratio

Newham

7,293

496

14.7

Tower Hamlets

7,746

614

12.6

Southwark

9,085

750

12.1

Lambeth

10,019

905

11.1

Hackney

7,660

718

10.7

Haringey

7,695

722

10.7

Lewisham

7,539

749

10.1

Islington

5,846

724

8.1

Greenwich

5,965

836

7.1

Kensington & Chelsea

2,517

366

6.9

Biggest changes between 2005 and 2011

Local area

Ranking 2005

Ranking 2011

Change

West Dunbartonshire

38

1

+37

South Lanarkshire

44

12

+32

Isle of Wight

37

8

+29

Midlothian

43

17

+26

Rhonda, Cynon, Taff

45

23

+22

Aberdeen City

50

105

-55

Suffolk

46

101

-55

Gwynedd

43

100

-57

Kingston upon Thames

46

103

-57

Westminster

38

98

-60

Moray

26

98

-72

Source: nomisweb.co.uk

- Eileen Saar, Hackney, Haringey, Lambeth and Lewisham have been in the top ten for five of the seven years analysed, while Greenwich, Newham and Southwark have been in the top ten four times.

- The TUC figures are available at www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/15/employmentblackspots.xls

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Register for the TUC's press extranet: a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access pre-embargo releases and reports from the TUC. Visit www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07921 236972 E: rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk

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