Department for Work and Pensions reveals Redbridge’s latest unemployment benefit figures

A file image of a job centre. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Archive

A file image of a job centre. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Archive - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits in Redbridge has risen this year, but remains well below that of five years ago, according to the latest government figures.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) yesterday (Tuesday, May 14) released its latest unemployment figures, both national and regional, which showed that the UK employment rate is currently at a joint record high with more than 32million people in work.

The figures for each London borough are broken down into the number of people aged 18-24 claiming unemployment related benefits - either Universal Credit or Job Seeker's Allowance - and the overall total of claimants.

In Redbridge there were 595 claimants aged 18-24 this year, a rise of 145 (32pc) year-on-year.

However, this is still down by 681 people when compared to the figures from the same period in 2014, a reduction of 53pc.

In total, there were 5,505 Redbridge residents claiming such benefits, a rise of 477 (9pc).

The overall figure was down by 2,657 compared to five years ago, which is a reduction of 33pc.

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In neighbouring Havering, the total number of claimants stands at 4,411 and has risen by 289 this year.

And in Barking and Dagenham, there were 6,093 claimants - up by 360 from 12 months ago.

Reacting to the most recent nationwide figures, employment minister Alok Sharma said: "Maintaining our record employment rate with unemployment falling again to just 3.8 per cent, its lowest rate since 1974, once again shows the success of our balanced approach to managing the economy.

"Rising wages and booming higher-skilled employment means better prospects for thousands of families, and with youth employment halving since 2010, we are creating opportunities for all generations.

"We now need to shift some of our focus to up-skilling people and supporting them into roles with real career progression to create a modern workforce fit for the challenges of the 21st Century."

The DWP also stressed it is continuing to offer a range of services to help improve the employment picture in east London even further.

These include focusing on the hospitality sector, security and financial services.

Mentor circles are also regularly held which see employers speak to groups of customers from black and minority ethnicity groups, lone parents, and customers managing long-term disabilities and health conditions to help coach them closer or back into employment.

A DWP spokesman also highlighted work it is currently doing in the health and social care sectors.

He said: "We have recently supported several organizations with their recruitment across many of the east London Boroughs.

"In particular we are trying to match these opportunities to the customer groups listed above.

"We have also started to deliver a series of Recruitment Fairs centred towards customers with long-term health conditions and disabilities; introducing them to a variety of tertiary industry employers."