Surge in Oxfordshire dole claims is baffling experts

Bicester Advertiser: Job Centre claimants on the rise Job Centre claimants on the rise

THE number of people signing on in Oxfordshire has risen – bucking the national trend.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show 6,842 claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance in January, a rise of 280 on the previous month and the highest figure since August.

But nationally the claimant count fell for the third month in a row – down by 12,500 to 1.54 million, the lowest since June 2011, following a huge increase in employment.

Business leaders in the county have struggled to explain the rise.

Nigel Wild, president of the Oxfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “I have not had any intelligence into why this may be happening. It is a bit of mystery.”

Kate Allen, managing director of Oxford recruitment firm Allen Associates, added: “The way Christmas fell there was a two-week break followed by a bout of cold weather, which may have delayed recruitment. But it has picked up in the last few weeks and I can’t see where those figures are coming from.

“Generally clients are reporting a really positive outlook, although they are creating more temporary positions – which may become permanent – than they were before the recession.”

During January a number of retailers including camera specialist Jessops – which had five stores in the county – and electrical store Comet closed their doors for good while video chain Blockbuster and music retailer HMV went into administration.

While those companies are national, experts say many local stores are also feeling the pinch.

Margaret Coles, chairman of the Oxfordshire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “I have noticed more and more shops being boarded up.”

She added that employers were now being cautious before taking on new recruits.

Related links

“A lot of people are taking stock and I think the recession is biting more now than a year ago. People keep thinking it will get better and then it doesn’t.”

Across the UK, unemployment, including those not eligible for benefit, fell by 14,000 in the final quarter of last year to 2.5 million – 156,000 lower than a year ago.

n The Oxford and Banbury branches of HMV yesterday escaped the latest round of store closures.

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:15pm Thu 21 Feb 13

zimmer, Wolvecote. says...

A breakdown of the figures into the following would explain why. How many have recently lost jobs, how many have come into the area from outside Oxford, and from the EU, against how many claiments have found jobs. If it is the first then there has been a higher than average companies/shops going to the wall, if it is the second, then there is nothing that can be done about it, and as they will all be claiming housing benefit as well, the bill will be massive. Nigel it is not rocket science, and a man in your position should have asked those questions before saying it is a mystery.
A breakdown of the figures into the following would explain why. How many have recently lost jobs, how many have come into the area from outside Oxford, and from the EU, against how many claiments have found jobs. If it is the first then there has been a higher than average companies/shops going to the wall, if it is the second, then there is nothing that can be done about it, and as they will all be claiming housing benefit as well, the bill will be massive. Nigel it is not rocket science, and a man in your position should have asked those questions before saying it is a mystery. zimmer, Wolvecote.
  • Score: -26

1:32pm Thu 21 Feb 13

jennie65 says...

my son has been trying to get a job since before xmas, always being told he has not enough experience, or getting ignored completely, he must have applied for over 50 jobs by now, advertised and by just poking lettters and cvs in company doors. and he is not getting JSA not had any for months they screwed up hi application and although I have to keep paing for his bus fare to go sign on he still gets nothing and i am expected to keep him for nothing. I work full time but as a single working british parent i did not qualify for housing - you get more points if you dont work, if you claim, if your kids are disturbed. so I rent privately and i need my son to pay me rent to keep out home i have now used over halp my savings since he has been out of work just to pay the bills, i figure 2 months and i wont be able to pay the rent. Can anyone offer him a job, 20, bright , pc literate, media studies and IT btecs, experience of retail, catering, factory, warehouse. lives in carterton cant drive- no money to learn.
my son has been trying to get a job since before xmas, always being told he has not enough experience, or getting ignored completely, he must have applied for over 50 jobs by now, advertised and by just poking lettters and cvs in company doors. and he is not getting JSA not had any for months they screwed up hi application and although I have to keep paing for his bus fare to go sign on he still gets nothing and i am expected to keep him for nothing. I work full time but as a single working british parent i did not qualify for housing - you get more points if you dont work, if you claim, if your kids are disturbed. so I rent privately and i need my son to pay me rent to keep out home i have now used over halp my savings since he has been out of work just to pay the bills, i figure 2 months and i wont be able to pay the rent. Can anyone offer him a job, 20, bright , pc literate, media studies and IT btecs, experience of retail, catering, factory, warehouse. lives in carterton cant drive- no money to learn. jennie65
  • Score: 1

3:22pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Isawyoucoming says...

zimmer, Wolvecote. wrote:
A breakdown of the figures into the following would explain why. How many have recently lost jobs, how many have come into the area from outside Oxford, and from the EU, against how many claiments have found jobs. If it is the first then there has been a higher than average companies/shops going to the wall, if it is the second, then there is nothing that can be done about it, and as they will all be claiming housing benefit as well, the bill will be massive. Nigel it is not rocket science, and a man in your position should have asked those questions before saying it is a mystery.
A true account of the situation. the real numbers are far higher than this lot would have you believe
[quote][p][bold]zimmer, Wolvecote.[/bold] wrote: A breakdown of the figures into the following would explain why. How many have recently lost jobs, how many have come into the area from outside Oxford, and from the EU, against how many claiments have found jobs. If it is the first then there has been a higher than average companies/shops going to the wall, if it is the second, then there is nothing that can be done about it, and as they will all be claiming housing benefit as well, the bill will be massive. Nigel it is not rocket science, and a man in your position should have asked those questions before saying it is a mystery.[/p][/quote]A true account of the situation. the real numbers are far higher than this lot would have you believe Isawyoucoming
  • Score: 0

10:23pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Myron Blatz says...

Do these Dole stats include people originating from elsewhere within the EU - such as France, Spain, Itlay, Greece and all thgose other EU Member-Countries where unemployment is worse than the UK, and benefits are a joke? Still, I suppose the 'flip side' is that the British unemployed and unemployable can always go to Albania?
Do these Dole stats include people originating from elsewhere within the EU - such as France, Spain, Itlay, Greece and all thgose other EU Member-Countries where unemployment is worse than the UK, and benefits are a joke? Still, I suppose the 'flip side' is that the British unemployed and unemployable can always go to Albania? Myron Blatz
  • Score: 0

9:08am Fri 22 Feb 13

xjohnx says...

Could just be that this area has less jobs at the moment. Or would that upset to many of the moaners.

More people than ever are actually working. There is just to many of us.
Could just be that this area has less jobs at the moment. Or would that upset to many of the moaners. More people than ever are actually working. There is just to many of us. xjohnx
  • Score: 0

9:19am Fri 22 Feb 13

Man on the Green says...

Myron, Albania isn't in the EU.
Myron, Albania isn't in the EU. Man on the Green
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Fri 22 Feb 13

riman09 says...

Usual 'playing by the figures' stuff. It is easy enough to establish; just take a walk around BB Leys, Barton and Rose Hill. You'll hear sorry stories of people continually left out of the economy through job losses.

Did we not hear recently some high profile companies closed? That's why the number keeps going up; it is the economy, stupid!
Usual 'playing by the figures' stuff. It is easy enough to establish; just take a walk around BB Leys, Barton and Rose Hill. You'll hear sorry stories of people continually left out of the economy through job losses. Did we not hear recently some high profile companies closed? That's why the number keeps going up; it is the economy, stupid! riman09
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree