It isn’t unemployment, of course, because those figures aren’t available for months on a borough level, but claims for Jobseekers’ Allowance, the main benefit available to the unemployed, fell (very slightly) in Wandsworth in March despite the national increase in unemployment.

Over the course of the year from March 2009 to March 2010 there were an extra 935 claims for JSA (a rise of 15.9%). The drop for the month was 17 (-0.2%).

Comparing claims over the course of the year is a little meaningless now, since the recession lasted so long the comparison is recession with marginally post-recession figures. Taking the figures over the course of the recession (from the beginning of 2008):

JSA claims have risen by 3,083 (or 82.4%) in this period.

What is interesting, at least in Wandsworth, is that the JSA claim figure seems to have plateaued since January. If you believe that the dip in November and December was seasonal (people taking on jobs for Christmas) you could argue that the plateau has lasted since October which fits in with the speculation that there will be a “jobless recovery” in which jobs lost in the recession won’t be recreated in the recovery.

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