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Jobless numbers in Cally fall again

March 17, 2010

Unemployment has gone down for the 4th consecutive month in Caledonian Ward, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics today. We first mentioned this a few weeks ago and the latest figures show this trend is continuing.

The number of people on Jobseeker’s Allowance has now fallen from a peak of 550 in October 2009. That represents an unemployment rate of 5.8% and is slightly above the Islington average. That means about 1 in 17 people of working age are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The latest couple of monthly figures are particularly significant because unemployment usually goes up in January and February. But in Caledonian ward – and most other parts of Islington – unemployment in these months has gone down.

Is this a surprise? Yes. It’s normal to see a jump in unemployment (even when the economy is going well) because temporary seasonal jobs drop-away in the early New Year. That’s because employers lay-off Xmas workers or people doing outdoor jobs in parks or building sites. On the flip-side, temporary jobs tend to surge as Summer arrives and firms hire people to work, for example, in tourist related employment.

We’ll now try your patience and mention seasonal adjustment … and many thanks if you’re still reading at this point. This is a statistical technique that irons-out the seasonal factors so that month-by-month figures can be judged on a properly comparable basis.

The statistics for small areas – like individual wards – are “raw” figures which are not subjected to seasonal adjustment. So we would have expected to see some increase in the unemployment figures for Caledonian ward. But the opposite has happened.

Even in the parts of the ward where unemployment has traditionally been most concentrated, the number of unemployed people has begun to decline. Figures for the area covering the Bemerton, Naish Court and Delhi Outram estates in the middle part of the ward show there are now just under 150 people claiming JSA. More significantly the evidence shows that, in the same area, unemployment during the last recession peaked at 3 times its current level.

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