Recession Hits White-Collar Staff in H&F

Spike in jobless figures among professional workers  

Hammersmith and Fulham has seen one of the highest increases in unemployment amongst those in professional occupations over the past year, according to a Local Government Association report.

The report, which covers the whole of England and Wales, shows H&F has seen the fifth highest increase nationwide in the number of professional workers claiming Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) since April 2008. Eight other London boroughs are also at the top of the table.

“Professionals are a relatively small element of the total workforce, and generally record below average levels of unemployment," the report states. "In April 2008, only 0.05% of the working age population were JSA claimants whose usual occupation was classed as 'professional'. A year later, the proportion had more than doubled, but was still only 0.13%. In absolute terms, JSA claimant unemployment (among professional workers) rose by 26,200 to 44,700 in the year to April 2009, an increase of 142%."

The research, which was carried out by the LGA in May and June 2009, also looks at those in 'elementary occupations' (cleaners, labourers, catering assistants and porters), those in 'skilled trade occupations' and those in 'managerial occupations'. No London borough has seen a steep increase in unemployment amongst the first two categories but in the third category, Croydon and Richmond-upon-Thames both saw a spike in their figures.

“Unemployment growth has been greatest in absolute terms for people looking for less skilled work, and particularly in older industrial areas. But unemployment amongst managers has also grown, and this has been most marked in the commuter belt around London. Unemployment amongst professionals has grown least in absolute terms but significantly in percentage terms, with the highest increases recorded in a range of London boroughs,” the report states.

The total number of people claiming Job Seeker's Allowance locally is:

Name of Ward April 2008 April 2009 Change
Shepherd's Bush Green
Wormholt and White City

In terms of overall unemployment, the report states that: “Over the year to April 2009, JSA claimants as a proportion of working age population in England and Wales increased from 2.2% to 4.1%, an increase of 1.9 percentage points.” The biggest overall increase was a rise of 3.79 percentage points in Blaenau Gwent.

17 June 2009