Tough year for Island jobs

By Martin Neville

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Tough year for Island jobs

Jessops closed its Isle of Wight branch, in Newport, this month.

AFTER a devastating start to the new year for hundreds of Isle of Wight workers who find their livelihoods under threat, latest job figures reveal a picture of rising unemployment on the Island.

The release of December’s job figures today (Wednesday) have capped a difficult year when Isle of Wight unemployment has run higher each month than the same period in 2011.

It is a situation which is unlikely to improve, with the body blow that Camp Hill prison is to close, putting 400 jobs under threat, and further redundancies confirmed at Liz Earle, Artigiano, Seaward Marine, Isle of Wight Studio Glass and Jessops.

There are also fears for the future of jobs at Blockbuster, which went into administration and announced plans to close 129 stores across the UK.

The closures will be in addition to 31 stores that were already due to close, including Cowes. Blockbuster has three other shops on the Island in Ryde, Shanklin and Newport.

Office of National Statistics figures showed the proportion of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) on the Island never fell below the south east average in 2012, even during the peak holiday season.

Figures revealed that in January 2012, 3,965 people claimed JSA — 400 more than in January 2011 — rising to a yearly high of 4,080 in February, compared to 3,690 the previous year, and more than two per cent higher than the regional average.

Unemployment fell below the national average in April, but with 3,300 people still out of work, the level was much higher than the previous year when 2,965 claimed the benefit.

While summer brought the usual seasonal dip in unemployment, levels of unemployment were higher than 2011.

Figures for July show 2,930 people claimed JSA compared to 2,720 in 2011, while 2,955 claimed the benefit in August compared to 2,820 the previous year.

In both months the proportion of people out of work was around one per cent higher than the south east average and just 0.3 per cent below the national average.

While unemployment continued to fall nationally and across the south east towards the end of 2012, it began to rise again on the Isle of Wight and today’s figures for December show 3,700 people were out of work compared to 3,665 in 2011.

Youth unemployment — 18-24 year olds — in 2012 fared slightly better with levels starting to fall towards the end of year.

However, the proportion of young people out of work never fell below the national average and in February was more than double the south east average — 12.7 per cent compared to just 5.7 per cent regionally.

Statistics show, however, that levels were lower between September and December than the same period in 2011.


Log-in or register to comment on this story. See our House Rules here.

By ticking "Remember me" you agree to a cookie being stored on your computer - no personal data is shared.

Forgotten your password?
Displaying the last 10 of 19 comments - Show All Comments

Log-in to Report

by Marie Smith

5th September 2013, at 12:57:11

Yeah, because it's so easy to 'live' on benefits instead of working. I am a single parent on benefits. I have finished several qualifications whilst looking for a non-existent job, including a music diploma and a degree. I am applying for teacher training which starts next year and I volunteer sometimes more than 20 hours a week. I do what I am supposed to to claim as I desperately need it and it's not as much as some of you think. Once I have paid all my bills I have £40 a week for food and petrol to get my son to school. Despite all this my benefits have just been stopped so I can't even afford to just scrape by. Fed up with people thinking we have it so easy. As for housing, I was refused help with housing when I was working full time and spent 3 months of my pregnancy homeless. Even now, I'm in a tiny 2 bed privately rented flat that I have to find nearly £100 a month to pay for as housing will no longer pay all of the rent. But, I probably deserve to be in this position

Log-in to Report

by alan naylor

25th January 2013, at 00:34:58

The isle of wight is a good lace to retire has somthing got to fall on your head folks theres a big wide world out there if your stuck in a room with a bed with no prospects then you have got to get cracking and get out

Log-in to Report


24th January 2013, at 14:40:32

But Robert - we only need to 'think positively'......

Log-in to Report


24th January 2013, at 13:56:20

Be afraid be very afraid because THIS is just the tip of the iceberg. We are only 24 days into the new year and there has been +400 jobs lost due to the TORIES and it will get even worse in the next few months if not years.

Log-in to Report

by T Rollingsworth

24th January 2013, at 09:50:13

The IWCP always put this graph up when they want to highlight unemployment, there is always peaks and troughs, especially in the summer due to seasonal work.

What annoys me though is that a lot of people I went to school with are single mums in their 20's who have had the council pay for them to live in the new housing developments, where I have to match a 10% deposit on 120k for the same property!

Also, Stephen, you still get the State Pension added to your pension through employment so at least you will have more money than the lazy, jobless people ;)

Log-in to Report

by Stephen Elliott

24th January 2013, at 07:41:12

Oh and I forgot to add, when we retire in our homes bought and paid for, those who have never worked live in homes they never have to pay for.

Pensions we pay into our pensions to recieve a bit of cash when we retire
Those that don't work still get a pension of around £500+ a month, so they get more than they got on jobseekers.

And finally, we all end up on the same bed be it hospital, care home or hospice, saying bye to our family. Penniless as either we had to sell the home to pay for care costs or because we never worked a day to pay for anything.

Log-in to Report

by Stephen Elliott

23rd January 2013, at 23:08:19

Who is the fool???

The person who gets up at 6am to travel to work to pay their taxes and rent and living costs. Then to get home at 7:30pm, to spend 2.5hrs with their family before getting an early night to start early tomorrow to pay their taxes?


Never work and get £300 cash for "job seeking" and money from the government to have children, to pay your rent and council tax and pay your stamp!

Tell me who's the fool???

Log-in to Report

by James McAdder

23rd January 2013, at 20:01:43

There are homeless, and there are homeless. Just because you aren't living rough doesn't mean you aren't homeless.

There are plenty of people living in "rooms", or stuck at home with their parents because they cannot afford a place of their own.

The problem isn't a lack of housing, but a lack of affordable housing. The cheapest housing for private rent is around £400 pcm, and that's for a one bed flat.

Someone earning £9 an hour (that's a shade under 1.5x the national minimum wage) will take home about £1200 a month. After rent that leaves £800 a month, or £185 a week, to pay for gas, electricity, council tax, etc. Then there's food, clothing, transport to work, etc, and paying for repairs to appliances, etc.

Assuming you do manage to make ends meet, there is no way you are ever going to save for the deposit most lenders now require for a mortgage, so you are stuck in rented accommodation.

What is required is affordable social housing t

Log-in to Report

by Mike Crowe

23rd January 2013, at 16:34:29

OK, I see you want to stick to the doom and gloom.

End of sensible conversation

Log-in to Report


23rd January 2013, at 15:52:32

No, in the 'good' times - even less chance of success these days !!

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Delicious Icon

More News

1 - 2 - 3 - 4

Most Read

  1. Missing man's body found

    Tuesday, July 29, 2014

  2. Former vicar jailed for child abuse

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  3. Rare birds breeding on Island

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  4. Road closed due to fractured water main

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  5. Homes without water after main bursts

    Monday, July 28, 2014

View our Elgin Traffic & Travel Map