Rise in Uttlesford unemployed

THERE was some grim pre-Christmas news from the jobs market last week as official figures revealed that unemployment has risen in Uttlesford for the first time in 2010.

Between August and October, the rate climbed by 1.7 per cent, almost wiping out previous decreases in early 2010 and late 2009.

The report by the National Office of Statistics indicated that the total unemployment figure is now 812 in the district.

From that figure 175 fit into the 18 to 24-year old bracket – up from 70 in January 2006. And the number of all those unemployed for more than a year has increased from 35 in January 2006, to 140.

Graham Ball, regional director of The Prince’s Trust in the East of England, which compiled a report to calculate the costs of young people being without work, said: “The annual cost for an individual jobseeker in Essex can be as much as �16,000, which could be around �2.5m a week.

“For a fraction of this cost, our trust can support a jobless young person through an intensive personal development course, helping them leave the dole queue for good.”

At the same time last year, the unemployment figure for the district was 909, meaning 97 more people were out of work compared to now.

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However the upward trend is likely to be of concern as total unemployment nationally grew by 35,000 – a rise of 7.9 per cent – the highest since the start of the year.

Douglas Alexander, shadow work and pensions secretary, said: “All of us will be hoping this is a one-off but my fear is that we are now beginning to see the real cost of George Osborne’s economic experiment.

“These worrying figures show that the private sector is not yet creating enough jobs to make up for the posts that are being cut in the public sector.”

But Government employment minister Chris Grayling said: “These figures highlight the crucial importance of the action we are taking to keep the economy moving forward.

“It’s essential to create a stable environment where businesses can flourish and create jobs, with those on benefits at the front of the queue to take them up.”

The picture was mixed elsewhere in Essex, with Chelmsford seeing a fall of 30 in the claimant count to 2599, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 2.4 per cent..

And relatively small increases also left the rate unchanged in Braintree, up 17 to 2494 (2.7 per cent), and Maldon, up 18 to 885 (2.2 per cent).

Elsewhere, however, unemployment rates edged up, with the count rising by 14 in Colchester to 3033 (2.6 per cent), and by 82 in Tendring to 3480 (4.1 per cent).