The number of claims for Jobseekers’ Allowance in Wandsworth dropped, very marginally, in June.  Given that the national news is reporting a record rise in unemployment, the fact we’ve had a small drop in claims has to be good news.
Wandsworth JSA claims Jun 08 - Jun 09

The fall was small, just 82, and there are caveats (these are people claiming benefit, which isn’t the totality of unemployment) but as I have said before there is reason to be confident in Wandsworth.

I’ve also put together this chart, which shows the rate of claims over the past year for Wandsworth, London and Great Britain.

JSA claim rates Jun 08 - Jun 09

It shows two things.  First, Wandsworth has a significantly lower rate of JSA claims than London or Great Britain as a whole.  Second, and most importantly, the gap has widened.  Last year Wandsworth’s rates were 0.8% and 0.4% below London’s and Great Britain’s rates respectively.  This had increased to 1.1% and 1.0% this June.

Again, I can add caveats, Wandsworth’s economy is a small part of the nation and will be affected by the national recession.  And because it’s small it can be more susceptible to large swings.  However, although I am pessimistic about the recession nationally, I remain confident that Wandsworth can weather the storm better than many other places.  We’ve created a dynamic economy here; we aren’t immune to recession, but we can fight it better.

The Wandsworth total of JSA claimaints (people actively signing on as unemployed) was 6,348 (a rate of 3.1%).  This is a drop of 82 people, or 1.3% (or a -1.3% increase, as Gordon Brown would probably call it) on the month.

The figures are still considerably higher than last year, 2,607 extra claimants, an increase of 69.7%.

Gordon Brown’s economic miracle doesn’t seem to show any sign of slowing.  My observation that the rate of increase seemed to have slowed last month was shown to be idle conjecture this month as the rate grew again.

JSA claimants May 08 - May 09

I will continue to say that Wandsworth seems to be weathering the recession better than most places.  There are a lot of reasons to be confident, indeed, part of my spot at Balham last Thursday was to highlight the reasons we should be positive in Wandsworth.  But that does not mean we aren’t being hit by the recession, nor does it make it any easier for those who are losing their jobs.

The Wandsworth total of Jobseekers Allowances claimaints (i.e. people who have signed on as unemployed, and excluding those who are unemployed but have chosen not to register) rose to 6,430 – a rate of 3.1%.  As I say every month, this still compares favourably to the London and national rates of 4.2% and 4.1% respectively.

The total was 341 higher than last month and 2,656 higher than this time last year, increases of 5.6% and 70.4% respectively.

The number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in Wandsworth broke through the 6,000 mark in April.

JSA claimants Apr 08 - Apr 09

The rate of increase was slower than previous months, not enough to say we’ve turned the corner, or even that we’re approaching the corner, but a smaller increase is good news nonetheless.

The total claiming JSA in April was 6,098, a rate of 3% which still compares favourably with the rates for London and nationally, both at 4.1%.

The total was 209 higher than last month and 2,390 higher than this time last year.  Increases of 3.5% and 64.5% respectively.

With the Chancellor about to start his budget speech unemployment continues to climb.  Nationally 2.1 million people are claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) with nearly 6,000 of those in Wandsworth.

JSA claimants Mar 08 - Mar 09In total 5,889 people are claiming JSA, 2.9% of the Wandsworth population.  We continue to be in a better position than the national and London averages, which are at 4%.

The figure for March is an increase of 408 (7.4%) from February and 2,144 (57.2%) from the same time last year.

This does not reveal the full extent of unemployment, just those who have chosen to apply for JSA and are found to be eligible.  Figures for actual unemployment are produced much later, the most recent figures show that in August last year 20,700 people of working age were on benefits.  Even less recent were the figures for last June which showed 9,000 people were unemployed (the JSA claim at the same time was just 3,741).

Unemployment claims nationally have hit 2,000,000 and if you follow this blog you’ll know I regularly report the JobSeeker’s Allowance JSA claims for Wandsworth.  The figures for February were released yesterday and showed a 13.6% jump from January.

JSA claimants Feb 08 - Feb 09

The increase means I’ve had to change the scale on the graph I was using (which only went to 5,000).  I’ve added 1,000 to the scale, but suspect it won’t last long.

In total 5,481 people were claiming JSA in Wandsworth in February.  This is an increase of 658 (13.6%) since January this year and an increase of 1,697 (44.8%) since February last year.  This figure contributes to a total 20,700 (10%) people who are claiming working age benefits in Wandsworth.

Gordon Brown still hasn’t said sorry.

It’s worth pointing out that unemployment and JSA claims are not the same thing.  You can be unemployed but, for whatever reason, not claim JSA.  The most recent total unemployment figures for Wandsworth are for June 2008 when 9,000 people were listed as unemployed but only 3,741 people were claiming JSA.

The January figures of Jobseekers Allowance claims have continued to rise.  January’s figures show an increase of 168 for the month, 1,082 for the year.

JSA claimants Jan 08 - Jan 09

It’s a fairly significant increase, although less than the previous month.

It’s worth bearing in mind that this is a total of Jobseekers Allowance claimants, those people who have registered as unemployment and been given Jobseekers Allowance.  The actual unemployment total is significantly higher.  Unemployment figures for boroughs are produced over six months after the period in question.  However, nationally the unemployment figure is 6.3%, whereas the national JSA claimant rate is just 3.4%.

While it the announcement that the UK is formally in a recession was expected, the size of the fall of GDP took many by surprise.  Three quarters have now passed since the UK economy grew, Q2 2008 saw the economy remain flat, to be followed by 0.6% and 1.5% contractions in Q3 and Q4.

And the effects have been felt in Wandsworth.  Jobseekers Allowance claims rose steeply in December 2008.JSA-claims-dec-2007-dec-2008Over the course of the year, from December 2007 to December 2008, Jobseekers Allowance claims rose by 937 (3,718 to 4,655).  The increase between November and December 2008 was 359 (4,296 – 4655).  However, Wandsworth can still claim some good news as it is still in a better position than London and the rest of the Britain; in Wandsworth 2.3% of residents claim JSA, compared to a rate of 3.2% and 3% for London and Britain respectively.

National Statistics have released the latest figures of Jobseekers Allowance claimants.  In Wandsworth there has been an increase of 422 claims over the year from November 2007 to November 2008 – from 3,874 to 4,296.  Most worrying is that more than half of that increase, 251, was in just the last month, between October and November 2008.

jsa-claimaints-to-nov-08It does illustrate the speed at which the recession is having an impact, and, of course, only represents those people that have registered as unemployed and claim Jobseekers Allowance.

However, the news is not all bad, the figure represents 2.1% of the Wandsworth working age population – this compares to figures for 3% for London and 2.8% for Great Britain.

Wandsworth doesn’t have immunity from recession, but we are better placed than many to weather it.