By Kaye Wiggins, political editor
Long-term unemployment in Brixton and the surrounding areas has risen dramatically, as some local jobseekers face competition from more than 40 other applicants per job, according to new figures.
The number of people that have been claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance for a year or more rose by 68% in both the Streatham and Vauxhall parliamentary constituencies, and 59% in Dulwich and West Norwood, between July 2011 and July 2012. All three areas include parts of Brixton.
The figures show that in the Dulwich and West Norwood constituency – which runs east from Brixton Road and Effra Road to include Coldharbour Lane, and also covers Tulse Hill – there are now a shocking 42.5 jobseekers per vacancy. It is the second-highest level in the country, behind not only Hackney North & Stoke Newington in east London.
The figures have been published by the House of Commons library. Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics show long-term youth unemployment in Lambeth has risen by 291% in the past year, from 110 people to 430.
The ONS figures also show that the number of people out of work in Lambeth has risen to its highest level since 2010, with 39,900 people in the borough – 18% of residents – described as “economically inactive.” This means there are 3,000 more people out of work now than in 2011.
Across London, long-term youth unemployment has risen from 1,805 in July 2011 to 7,700 in July 2012 – a huge 327% rise. Chuka Umunna, MP for Streatham and Labour’s shadow business secretary, told the Bugle: “Those furthest from the labour market are finding it harder and harder to get jobs, and some businesses are receiving hundreds of applicants for a single vacancy.
“We have been taking hugely important steps locally to help, including moving forward with Business Improvement Districts and the Streatham hub which will deliver over 200 jobs.
“Local businesses are working incredibly hard to buck the national trend, grow, and get people back into work, yet they cannot do this alone – we need the government to change course and get growth back into the economy.”