Town is ‘hot spot’ for unemployment

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Ilkeston tops a list of unemployment hotspots in Derbyshire despite recent figures showing the number of people out of work in the area was falling.

Ilkeston North, Cotmanhay, Ilkeston Central, Kirk Hallam and Old Park all feature in a list of the 15 wards with the highest unemployment rates across the county.

A report released by Derbyshire County Council shows the depressing state of affairs and shows young people and the long term unemployed are the biggest casualties of the decreasing jobs market.

Summarising the figures the report states: “Of the 15 wards with the most severe unemployment problems, five are located in Erewash.”

Ilkeston North ranks at number two with 5.9 per cent of people out work. Cotmanhay comes in at fourth with 5.3 per cent of residents not in work. Ilkeston Central has 5.1 per cent of locals without jobs, and Kirk Hallam and Old Park both come in with four per cent of their residents unemployed.

But the latest figures collated by the Office for National Statistics show that unemployment and youth unemployment has fallen across Erewash, with figures now standing at 3.5 per cent and 5.9 per cent for the borough. The number of claimants is 785 lower than in April 2013.

Erewash MP Jessica Lee said: “I am delighted that overall unemployment continues to fall in Erewash as well as across the rest of the country. These figures are clear proof that the Government is pursuing the right economic plan to get both Erewash and Britain back on track.

“Historically certain areas in Ilkeston have had some of the highest levels of unemployment in Derbyshire. Whilst the trends show that these levels have fallen to their lowest levels since before the 2010 election, we still need to do more.

“Since being elected, I have done my upmost to try to help people to get back into work and to bring jobs and growth back to Erewash. This has included successfully campaigning to reopen a train station in Ilkeston and supporting local businesses setup and expand their training and apprenticeship schemes.”

Catherine Atkinson, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for next year’s election, said the answer to the ongoing problem is to bring new investment into the town and will be helped by Labour’s pledge of a job guarantee scheme.

She said: “What I hear every week on the doorstep talking to people is that for the vast majority the jobs market isn’t working. Under David Cameron’s government too many people in Ilkeston are struggling to find secure well paid work and not seeing any economic recovery at all. Many people are very angry about the way the economy is being run.

“Young people have been very hard hit by the recession. The most recent unemployment figures show a doubling of long-term youth unemployment in Erewash in just three years between April 2011 and April 2014. The number of long-term unemployed young people in the East Midlands has more than doubled in the same period from 1,240 to 3,564.

“If Labour wins the next election we will get young people and the long-term unemployed in Ilkeston into work.

“The next Labour government will guarantee jobs for all young people on unemployment benefit for a year, and all adults aged 25 or over on unemployment benefit for two years. It will be a tough contract – those who can work 
will be required to take up the jobs on offer.”