More than one in ten working-age people in four of London’s boroughs are now claiming unemployment-related benefits, with some boroughs seeing increases of up to seven percent compared with the start of the pandemic.
The latest official labour market statistics show the highest claimant count rate of 10.6 per cent is in Haringey, followed by 10.2 per cent in Newham, 10.1 per cent in Brent and ten per cent in Barking & Dagenham.
The figures, compiled for On London by think tank Centre for Cities, also show that the rate for Newham is seven per cent higher than it was in March 2020 – when the pandemic began – and has risen by 6.7 per cent in Haringey during that time. Brent has been hit by the third highest increase of 6.4 per cent with both Barking & Dagenham and Waltham Forest seeing 5.7 per cent rises.
The current claimant rate is 9.2 per cent in both Waltham Forest and Ealing and between eight and nine per cent in eight boroughs: Croydon, Enfield, Hackney, Hounslow, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets.
The lowest levels are in the City of London (3.1 per cent), Richmond (four per cent), Kingston (4.3 per cent), Bromley (4.7 per cent) and Sutton (4.7 per cent). The smallest increases since March 2020, ranging from 1.9 per cent to 2.6 per cent, have been in the same five local authority areas.
The figures capture the numbers of people aged 16-64 seeking employment and claiming either Universal Credit or Job Seekers’ Allowance in each London local authority area in June.
At the start of this month, Sadiq Khan, whose re-election slogans was “jobs, jobs, jobs”, committed £32 million to 39 organisations across the capital to help provide skills and training support for Londoners seeking to work in emerging sectors of the economy such as digital and green industries, health and social care and the creative and cultural sectors.
The government is bringing to and end its job retention or furlough scheme, which at one point in the pandemic supported over one million Londoners, raising concerns that as many as 850,000 jobs could soon be lost or adjusted to include fewer hours. The government has recently confirmed that the £20 uplift to Universal Credit to help people cope with the impact of Covid-19 will be phased out from the autumn.
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