To judge from his tweets Ben Bradshaw MP (@BenPBradshaw) is firmly engaged with his Exeter constituency. On 19 July he tweeted:
JSA is Job Seekers Allowance, paid to those who are eligible and between 18 and pension age.
Taking the tweet literally, in Exeter in June 2012 for every 100 18 to 24 year olds who had been in receipt of JSA for more than a year, a year earlier there would have been been only 20.
Looking for the actual numbers, I turned to the relevant House of Commons Library Research Paper (Unemployment by Constituency, July 2012, RP12/41 dated 18 July 2012), in particular:
Table 1B which shows that in June 2012 the total number of JSA claimants in Exeter was 2039, up by 23 from a year earlier. Of these, 475 had been claiming for more than 12 months, up by 290.
Table 2 which breaks the 2039 down into 645 aged 24 and under, 1055 aged 25 to 49 and 330 aged 50 and over (9 have been ‘lost’ presumably because of rounding to the nearest 5).
The Venn diagram below brings these numbers together, but the size of the overlapping area which corresponds to those on JSA for more than a year AND aged 18 to 24 is undefined (x):
However, the Economy & Tourism Unit of Exeter City Council produced an Economic Trends Report in November 2011 which provides this data for October 2010 and October 2011 as being 25 and 30 respectively (page 5). Interpolating for June 2011 gives an estimate of 28. Again turning to the HoC Library Research Paper a year ago (Unemployment by Constituency, July 2011, RP11/58 dated 13 July 2011), it is possible to produce a similar Venn diagram for June 2011. And also x can be estimated as about 140 ie’fivefold’.
The implications are pretty startling. The total number of unemployed in Exeter has changed little in a year and the proportion aged 18 to 24 has remained 32%. But the proportion of the 18 to 24s on JSA for more than a year has gone from 4% to 22% in the 12 months since June 11. In the same period for the over-24s the movement was from 11% to 24%.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Regional Labour Market Statistics, July 2012 show that this trend is apparent among the 18 to 24s across the whole South West region:
As can be seen, the fivefold increase in Exeter is below that of the SW region which is showing a more than sevenfold increase (725%). The SW region had nearly twice the national (UK) movement in the ONS data for the same period, which is up 405%.