Jesmond’s unemployment benefit claimants below national average
Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Budget yesterday that “jobs are being created” and “the employment rate has been growing faster than in the US and three times as fast as in Germany” – but the economic recovery is still a long way off.
The Office for Budget Responsibility expects 600,000 more jobs in 2013, and 60,000 fewer people claiming unemployment benefit at that time. Yet figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released yesterday before the Chancellor took to the dispatch box in Westminster show that in Jesmond, in the region as a whole, and nationally, there are still relatively high rates of unemployment.
2.52m people nationwide were out of work in the three months to January 2013, up 7,000 on the previous period. The national unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds is 21.2%. Nearly a million young people are without work. Across the country, the unemployment rate stands at 7.8%.
JesmondLocal has taken the ONS’ latest figures and put them in a regional and hyperlocal context. As our map above shows, in Newcastle East, the parliamentary constituency of which Jesmond is a part, 3,307 – or 4.4% of people – are claiming unemployment benefit. That figure is 1.2% down on the same period last year, indicating things are getting better in our area.
A gender divide appears in unemployment benefit claimants: 6% of men are claiming benefits, while only 2.7% of women are. And Newcastle East compares favourably to other areas, such as Gateshead, where unemployment benefit claimants number 6.9% of the working population, and Newcastle Central, where 6.2% of people are claiming out-of-work benefits.
It is less impressive than neighbouring Newcastle North (covering large parts of Gosforth, Fawdon and Woolsington), where total unemployment benefit claimants are just 3.8% of the working population. Tynemouth, a relatively affluent seaside constituency, has 3.9% of people claiming unemployment benefits.