‘Island Worst For Jobs’ Claim Challenged

Two senior figures on the Island have questioned the recently published claims that the Isle of Wight had the highest ratio of job seekers to jobs in the UK.
Many newspapers reported the story, sourced from the Trade Union Council (TUC), that in some areas of …

Island Worst For Jobs Claim ChallengedTwo senior figures on the Island have questioned the recently published claims that the Isle of Wight had the highest ratio of job seekers to jobs in the UK.

Many newspapers reported the story, sourced from the Trade Union Council (TUC), that in some areas of the UK people on Jobseekers allowance outnumber job vacancies 20 to 1. The Isle of Wight was at the top of the list with claims of 60 claimants per vacancy.

TUC methods questioned
Since the original reports, both Andrew Turner, the Island’s MP, and David Pugh, Leader of the Council, have questioned the methodology of the TUC.

The central complaint is that the TUC figures came from a single month – January 2009, so for an Island which has so much tourism and agriculture employment, the figures were heavily skewed.

The Island’s voices were added to by the Department for Work and Pensions, “The figures quoted by the TUC only include vacancies in Jobcentre Plus offices and not across the wider economy,” their spokesperson said.

Andrew Turner summed up his position, “The Island’s sample size is a perennial problem – we are a small county and tiny fluctuations in numbers can give rise to very different outcomes. The TUC counted only jobs advertised through Jobcentre Plus in a single month; nationally only about one third of vacancies are advertised that way and there is anecdotal evidence that a smaller percentage of jobs go through Jobcentre Plus in rural areas like the Island. ”

Report on David Pugh
Andrew Turner’s statement

image: Thompski

Tuesday, 24th March, 2009 7:32am

By

ShortURL: http://wig.ht/26G6

Filed under: Business, Island-wide, Media

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

9 Comments on "‘Island Worst For Jobs’ Claim Challenged"

newest oldest most voted
steve s

Interesting to note that the leader of the council can spot ‘heavily skewed figures’ when it suits him.

Drone

I must admit I was mystified by this story. Whilst there are plenty of lay-offs which is bad news for sure, a look at the County Press any week reveals a great many more than 52 vacancies.

How can we be worse off than Merthyr Tydfil?

chancer

I have lived both near Merthyr and here…..Both have the same bleak prospects but at least we have the sea.

James P

“so much tourism and agriculture employment”

The devil is in the detail, though. How many of those jobs go to Islanders and how many to temporary residents? My experience of horticultural jobs suggests that few locals are interested in that kind of work…

James P

“heavily skewed figures”

Depends who’s doing the skewing, I think, Steve!

ken knapman
Information versus disinformation on the island economy. Why do the senior figures on the island accuse the TUC of skewing figures? After all this implies disinformation? Surely this is a hysterical response by David Pugh and Andrew Turner. It is not that the TUC is going to lead the country out of the economic crisis (as most trades’ unionists would agree from experience). The point is that… Read more »
James P
The TUC article begins: “Job seekers are outnumbering vacancies advertised in jobcentres..” so it’s pretty clear which figures they are using. Their beef is with the government, which is downplaying the seriousness of the situation for political reasons. I’m not entirely sure why local Tories are reacting as they have, but perhaps it’s their automatic response to anything from the TUC! To be fair to Andrew Turner,… Read more »
wighteye
Of course the figures don’t take into account those people on Incapacity Benefit who are also actively seeking work, so the number of job seekers is actually higher than that published. To take the position that the Island’s employment is seasonal is poor, it’s about time the MP and Council Leader recognised the fact that they preside over an area of the country with poor employment prospects… Read more »
Wendy V
Other news stories in the past week included maps of the country showing unemployment hotspots, and the island came off better than in the TUC one. But as has been pointed out, depends what you’re measuring, and when. But certainly it’s got tougher. One friend who works for a solicitor has agreed to a wage cut of 20% (while others in the practice were recently made redundant).… Read more »