Massive competition for Redbridge jobs

More than 15 job seekers are chasing every vacancy in the borough, making Redbridge one of the toughest places in the Capital to find work.

The Office for National Statistics figures make Redbridge the fifth hardest place in London to find employment, with 7,687 benefits claimants but just 506 jobs.

Last month there were 2,424 people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in Ilford North, nearly 13 per cent higher than last year, and in Ilford South 4,200 people were looking for work, 480 more than in 2010.

Mike Gapes, Labour MP for Ilford South, where 7.7 per cent of adults are looking for work, said: “These figures are very worrying, and the outlook is bleak.

“Government policy is creating an increase in unemployment, and we haven’t yet seen the true impact of cuts to local government spending.”

In Ilford North 5.3 per cent of active adults are claiming jobseeker’s allowance.

Conservative MP Lee Scott said: “I know that businesses in places like Hainault Business Park are looking to create jobs and that is important.”

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He added: “Although we have retail, and the business park, my constituency is mainly in the commuter belt.”

Worse than Redbridge for ratio of benefit claimants to vacancies were only Haringey, Waltham Forest, Hackney and Lewisham.

Each of these boroughs witnessed serious looting and civil unrest during the London riots earlier this month, although both Mr Gapes and Mr Scott refused to make a link between the unrest and growing unemployment.

Craig Livermore, 20, of Hainault, has been unemployed for almost three years.

He said: “I think politicians should be doing more to create jobs. Being unemployed is a real struggle. I haven’t even had any interviews.”

The Department for Work and Pensions said measures are being put in place to tackle the drastic rise in certain areas.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “These are disappointing figures but we always said that the road to recovery would be choppy.”

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