Unemployment in Redbridge more than halves in four years

Cllr Paul Canal, leader of the opposition

Cllr Paul Canal, leader of the opposition - Credit: Archant

Unemployment in Redbridge has shot down by more than half in the past four years.

Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South

Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South - Credit: Archant

Between May 2010 and November 2014, the number of people out of work fell from 6,720 to 3,270, with youth unemployment dropping 63 per cent from 1,710 to 630.

Geoff Hill, chairman of the Redbridge Chamber of Commerce, said: “People in Redbridge are picking themselves up and getting themselves into jobs.

“There is a lot of entrepreneurial spirit, with lots of start-up businesses and increasing support for them.

“We are very pleased that things are looking up.”

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The Office for National Statistics figures show 685 over-50s are unemployed, a fall of 38 pc from 1,120.

Mr Hill said: “Redbridge Council, through Work Redbridge, does an awful lot. But there is still a big pool of unemployed people who are over 50 or have disabilities.

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“Both groups have a lot to offer.”

Leader of the opposition, Cllr Paul Canal, moved a motion at Redbridge Council’s full meeting on Thursday to praise the figures.

He said: “I think it is important we celebrate success. There has been a huge drop in unemployment across all sectors.

“People are being encouraged to go to work and have a better quality of life.”

Cllr Canal said the administration now needs to “build people’s confidence”. But Ilford South’s Labour MP Mike Gapes said there is more to be done.

“Reductions are welcome, but there are far too many people on zero hours contracts and low wages, or in part-time jobs,” he said.

“Unemployment in Ilford South is significantly higher than in Ilford North and many of my constituents are in private accommodation, where rents are very high.

“We need to raise the minimum wage and living wage in London.”

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