Unemployment rises in Islington

Almost 350 more people are claiming jobseekers allowance in Islington than at the same point 12 months ago.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that in December 2011 7,209 were on benefits, up from 6,865 in December 2010, a rise of 344.

Although there are almost double the number of male claimants to female, the �figure for women is rising sharply. Almost 300 women became claimants over the last 12 months – six times more than the men.

Cllr Terry Stacy, leader of Islington Council’s Lib Dem opposition, said: “The council was given �3.7million by the government as a reward for building the quota of new homes. �700,000 of this was earmarked for apprenticeships, but so far none of it has been spent. They need to use this money to get young people into work and bring the unemployment rate down.”

Cllr Catherine West, leader of the council said Government cuts were hitting the poorest residents hard but that the council was doing all it could to help.

She said: “The money allocated for apprentice development is �allocated and accounted for and a key part of our budget for 2012.

“But we are also investing part of the New Homes Bonus in affordable childcare after school and in holidays so �parents can take part-time employment.”