Hillingdon the London borough with the highest unemployment in 2023

Hillingdon had the highest unemployment rate for those 16 and older from January to December 2023, new data from the Office for National Statistics shows.

Hillingdon had an unemployment rate of 7% in 2023- nearly double that of Hackney, which has the lowest unemployment rate among London boroughs at 3.8%, as the Office for National Statistics reported in April.

In 2023 Q4, there was an increase of 2.7 percentage points for the borough of Hillingdon compared to three years ago, surpassing the average for London boroughs.

Labour councillor for Ealing and Hillingdon, Bassam Mahfouz said: “As I go around the borough, I hear time after time how people are hurting.

“It’s the direct result of 14 years of the Tories nationally and locally causing chaos with jobs and our economy and too many are now unemployed and many more facing in-work poverty.”

Hillingdon at 7%, Barking and Dagenham at 6.8% followed by the borough of Tower Hamlets at 6.3% have the highest rates for those aged 16 and older from January to December 2023.

Hackney, Southwark at 3.9%, and Wandsworth at 4.0% are the boroughs with the lowest unemployment rate for this period.

High living costs add to these difficulties, with renting a one-bedroom house or flat in Hillingdon costing at least 36.5% of median pre-tax pay from October 2022 to September 2023.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Due to the increased volatility of the underlying survey estimates, the ONS currently advise caution when interpreting short-term changes in rates and recommend using them as part of a suite of labour market indicators.

“The ONS estimates have a high level of uncertainty with a margin of error of +/-2.4% points.”

The DWP stated that survey estimates at a borough level have a comparatively smaller sample size and therefore have a higher degree of uncertainty associated with them.

The department said that Hillingdon has more typically been close to the London average of unemployment in recent years.

The department also said that the claimant count – a measure of the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance plus those who claim Universal Credit – for Hillingdon is 4.6%, which is below the London average of 5.2%, as of May 2024.

The DWP spokesperson added: “The number of payrolled employees in Hillingdon is estimated to have increased by almost a thousand in the year to May 2024 to around 150,000.”

From February to April 2024, vacancies in the UK decreased in 13 of the 18 industry sectors. 

The health sector has been hit the hardest, with only the real estate sector seeing a 4,000 increase in vacancies.

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