East Anglian jobs market 'will get worse'

Unemployment is at its highest for a decade. Elaine Maslin looks at how many jobs are available in each district of East Anglia - and how many people are chasing them.

Unemployment is at its highest for a decade. Elaine Maslin looks at how many jobs are available in each district of East Anglia - and how many people are chasing them.

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Unemployment is at its highest in 10 years - but there were predictions of worse to come last night.

According to the latest official figures, January saw nearly 16,000 people in Norfolk signing on the dole - with just 1,664 jobs up for grabs at the county's job centres.

It is the highest number since April 1999, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), and comes as there are the lowest number of jobs up for grabs since the figures were made available to the public in 2006.

Figures due out next week on February are likely to be even worse and will not yet take in the hundreds of job losses just this month across the region.

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Only this week financial broker Central Trust announced 90 redundancies and Omar Homes in Brandon made 160 posts redundant after going into administration.

Chris Starkie, chief executive of Shaping Norfolk's Future said: 'The realty is more people are going to be made unemployed over the next year, we know there is going to be a lot more.'

His fears were backed up by Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), who said: 'It is clear that we have not yet hit the bottom of the jobs market.'

Norfolk, with 3.2pc of working age people on the dole, has fewer people out of work than the national average of 3.4pc.

However, it still lags behind Suffolk, at 2.9pc, and Cambridgeshire, at 2pc, and the eastern region average of 2.8pc.

Yarmouth was the counties' worst area to be looking for a job with 3,280 people signing on and only 144 jobs listed, according to the ONS.

Breckland was second worse with 2,190 on the dole - the most since 1997 - and just 160 jobs listed at job centres.

Most jobless are males and aged 25-49 and 77pc had been signing on for fewer than six months.

However, Mr Starkie said job centre vacancies were only about a quarter of what was actually out there, as not everyone advertised with the job centre.

'What we are trying to do is concentrate people's minds on sectors where there are jobs,' he said.

'In health care there are about 300 plus vacancies across Norfolk and there are other areas with potential for growth like tourism.

'Shaping Norfolk's Future is trying to put together measures to help people re-skill and ensure people who are made redundant have the best opportunity to get back in to the labour market.

'This could be either finding jobs that are out there or getting into business, setting up their own jobs.'


YARMOUTH: The worst area in terms of the jobs market with 22.7 people hunting for jobs per one vacancy.

Here 85pc of people were employed in services in 2007 - 16pc were in tourism, 8pc in manufacturing and 4pc in construction. (pop. 93,900) Jobs available: 144, job seekers: 3,280

BRECKLAND: The second worse off Norfolk district, with 13.6 people per vacancy in January.

It is less reliant on services than other districts, with 18pc of people employed in manufacturing, but has just 5pc in construction and 6pc in tourism. (pop. 129,900) Jobs available: 160, job seekers: 2,190

NORWICH: The county's biggest employer with 95,500 people in work in 2007 - and the area the most reliant on the service sector with 88pc in services jobs.

It had 10.5 people per job vacancy in January.

Of its service sector finance, IT and other business activities is the biggest employment area with 30pc of the total Norwich jobs, followed by 25pc in public admin, education and health and 22pc in distribution, hotels and restaurants.

Just 7pc were in manufacturing, 3pc in construction and 7pc in tourism. (pop. 132,200). Jobs available: 337, job seekers: 3,566

BROADLAND: Currently the best place to be if you're looking for work with one job per 3.7 job hunters.

It had 73pc in services - 36pc of those in public admin, education and health and 32pc in distribution, hotels and restaurants - 16pc in manufacturing and 7pc in both tourism and construction. (pop. 123,000) Jobs available: 358, job seekers 1,343

FENLAND: One job per 7.3 job seekers in January. Unusually, 50pc of job hunters here were women - compared to an average 25pc elsewhere. Some 70pc of jobs were services with a further 17pc in manufacturing and 4pc both in construction and tourism. (pop. 91,400) Jobs available 131, job seekers: 964

FOREST HEATH: One job per 10.5 people looking for work, just 12pc women compared to 25pc elsewhere.

The 80pc of jobs in services perhaps reflects proximity to Cambridge via the dualled A11. Eleven per cent in manufacturing and 22pc in tourism related work. (pop. 63,200) Jobs available: 172, job seekers: 1,807

WEST NORFOLK: One job vacancy per 6.4 people looking for work. Some were 72pc in services - mostly in public admin, education and health with King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital being a large employer. A further 14pc were in manufacturing, 5pc in construction and 8pc in tourism. (pop. 143,500) Jobs available: 394, job seekers: 2,539

NORTH NORFOLK: 76pc in services, mostly in distribution, hotels and restaurants, 13pc specifically tourism related. A further 13pc in manufacturing. (pop. 100,800) Jobs available: 140, job seekers: 1,654

SOUTH NORFOLK: The biggest employer here is public admin, education and health within the service sector taking 34pc of jobs in the area. Overall services account for 79pc of jobs, with 10pc in manufacturing and 6pc in construction. (pop. 67,700) Jobs available: 131, job seekers: 1,419

WAVENEY: An average 73pc in services, most of those 26pc each in distribution, hotels and restaurants and public admin, education and health. A further 18pc in manufacturing and 6pc in construction. (pop. 117,300. In work 40,100) Jobs available: 164, Job seekers: 2,715