Richard Willis's Blog

First for local news and first for comment

Unemployment in Reading Falls Again

Following news of the record number of apprenticeships created in Reading, there is more good news with the number of claimants of Jobs Seekers Allowance falling in Reading once again.

In November 3,500 people were recorded as claiming Job Seekers Allowance, down from the previous month when 3,590 people were reported on the claimant count. November was the ninth consecutive month that claimant numbers in Reading reduced; there are now approximately 180 fewer people claiming than recorded in November 2009.

3.3% of the working population in Reading claim Job Seekers Allowance. The rate has reduced for the second month in a row. The Reading rate is 0.9 higher than South East rate of 2.4% and is 0.2 lower than the GB rate of 3.5%, both rates remained unchanged.

The majority of claimants (580 people) are aged 20-24 – 17% of all claimants fall within this age group. Annually, this age range has had the biggest drop in claimants with 165 less people claiming than in November 2009. Those aged 25-29 make up 13% of claimants but reported a slight increase in numbers claiming. Young people (those 24 and under) still represent just under a ¼ of all claimants.

Male claimants now make up 68% of all job seekers, compared with 72% in November 2009. Female claimants are growing slowly and have annually increased by 4%.

In November 15% of all claimants have been claiming for over 12 months, this is down 1% from October. 5% of those who have claimed for over 12 months are under the age of 24, down 3% from October suggesting that long term claimants tend to be in the older age brackets.

Approximately 520 people aged 25 plus have claimed for over 12 months down on last months figure.  Around 230 people aged 50 and over have been claiming for over 6 months and this accounts for 61% of all the claimants in this age group, down 4% from last month but still relatively high.

There has been minimal change in the occupations sought by jobs seekers. The majority of job seekers are looking for elementary occupations (no or low skilled jobs). In November over a quarter of people (28%) were looking for this type of work. Sales and customer service (18%) administration and secretarial (12%) and skilled trade (11%) jobs have a high proportion of interest. There was minimal change in the proportions and choice of occupations in which job seekers would like to join throughout 2009 and this has continued right through 2010.

November vacancy numbers were up 1% from the same month last year and unfilled job centre vacancies are now reported at 1067, a marginal increase from last month. Unusually the spread of vacancies across occupation types saw minimal change from October to November, bucking the trend of the see saw reporting that is often seen. Annual comparison show the largest rise in vacancies came for Process Plant and Machinery occupations followed closely by Skilled Trade occupations, both having relatively low vacancies this time last year.

Reading reported 3.3 claimants for every vacancy which is the lowest it’s been throughout 2009 and 2010*. The Reading rate is 0.9 below the national figure and 0.3 above the South East rate. (*September 2010 figure not available.)

The proportion of Reading’s population claiming Job Seekers Allowance matches those of 14 authorities in Great Britain including, Neath Port Talbot, West Lancashire and the Isle of Wight. Across the South East, Reading is in 10th place with 9 other local authorities with a higher rate.     

Locally Reading’s working age adults claiming Job Seekers Allowance is particularly high compared with West Berkshire (1.8), Bracknell Forest (2.0), Wokingham (1.4), Windsor and Maidenhead (1.8) all of which stayed the same from October to November 2010.


December 24, 2010 - Posted by | Local

1 Comment »

  1. 28% is not a majority (unless you are in Oldham and Saddleworth!). What is the unemployment rate, rather than the claimant rate? Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Jonny | December 25, 2010 | Reply

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