Jobseekers Allowance claimants outnumber vacancies by up to 23 to one in some areas

Jobseekers Allowance claimants are outnumbering vacancies by up to 23 to one in some areas of the UK, according to TUC research.

Analysis of Jobcentre Plus data has revealed a claimant-to-vacancy ratio of 5:1 for the country as a whole, but this is far worse in London and the North East, where the ratio increases to 7.6:1 and 6.1:1 respectively. However, areas such as the South East and South West have better ratios of less than 4:1.

Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: “Many in Westminster will be pleased with their new jobs, but for millions of people across the UK, finding work is still nearly impossible.”

Hackney was the local authority with the worst ratio of 23.9 claimants per vacancy, followed by North Ayrshire with a ratio of 18.6:1, and East Renfrewshire at 17.8:1, the Guardian has reported.

The TUC has warned, with the Emergency Budget less than two weeks away, the spending cuts will raise unemployment further and hit businesses that sell services to the public sector.

Barber said: “The government is fully focused on reducing the deficit. But this will be self-defeating if it causes mass job losses and a fall back into recession. The government must instead focus on getting people back into work and the economy motoring again. But with demand weak and our European trading partners in trouble, this country needs investment, not a spending axe.”

The TUC also fears big regional disparities in the impact of spending cuts. It claims that some of the UK’s poorest areas will be hardest hit.

Of the 30 local authorities with the worst index-of-deprivation rankings, the union body said all but one face cuts at or above the 0.7% average, with Haringey and Hackney suffering badly. Also, the 10 local authorities facing the maximum 2% cut are all in the most deprived quartile.

The latest unemployment figures, due to be published on Wednesday, are expected to show the jobless rate stuck at 8% in April.

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