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.

Have you felt the squeeze, or are you struggling to find a job in Jesmond? Let us know in the comments below, on Facebook or Twitter (@jesmondlocal), or by emailing us (

One thought on “Jesmond’s unemployment benefit claimants below national average”

  1. David Hickling says:

    It’s good to see Jesmondlocal focussing on issues such as unemployment, which scars parts of Newcastle and the wider North East, though I would question the assertions that ‘Newcastle East compares favourably to other areas’ and ‘things are getting better in our area’.

    The unemployment figure of 3,307 in Newcastle East is correct, however the 4.4% claimant rate figure represents the entire population, rather than the economically active population (aged 16 to 64). When this measure is used (which is what is used when calculating the 7.8% national figure quoted above), Newcastle East’s claimant rate is 7.1%.

    Out of 650 Parliamentary constituencies, Newcastle East is ranked 138th worst nationally in terms of unemployment claimants. When taken nationally, this doesn’t compare well at all, with the constituency ranking in the top quartile for rates of unemployment.

    Another worrying sign is the fact that the number of people claiming unemployment benefit for more than 12 months has increased by over 35% over the last year. It is widely accepted that those who are out of work for long periods of time (a year+) are much less likely to rejoin the workforce, meaning we have a growing problem of stubborn long-term unemployment. The problem of unemployment is not balanced geograpically within the constituency either, with areas like Walker and Byker seeing rates reaching 20%.

    To top this off, Government figures recently showed that there were approximately 7,500 vacancies advertised in the entire Tyne Tees area, yet there are nearly 10,000 unemployed in Newcastle alone.

    Whole communities are being starved of work and there are simply not the jobs for people to go to.

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