Jersey unemployment reaches 'highest level for decades'

Unemployment in Jersey has reached its highest level for decades, the States of Jersey's chief statistician says.

Dr Duncan Gibaut said the number of people out of work at the end of February was 2,030 and the latest figures showed a steady upward trend.

He said even looking at the unemployment figures in the early 1980s, it was "the highest number in terms of the last few decades".

Last year Jersey's government said tackling unemployment was a priority.

The registered jobless figure for February were 10 higher than in January and 210 higher than the same time last year.

The figures also showed those actively seeking work for more than a year made up more than a sixth of the total people out of work.

Kim Moignard has been searching for a job for 18 months, she said she felt supported by the States.

"The [Back to Work] scheme I am on at the moment I have found very helpful, it builds your self esteem, it helps you sort your CV out, and they provide training," she said.

"They can also get you into placements which can help you with references and to prove your worth to a future employer."

'Record high'

Jersey's Labour Market figures for December 2012 have also been released by the Statistics Unit.

They showed that despite unemployment reaching another record high, there were more than 1,600 jobs available in Jersey.

The report showed the number of foreign workers coming to Jersey was at its lowest level for 15 years, making up less than 10% of the island's workforce.

The number of posts in Jersey's finance industry was also at its lowest for 15 years, with 280 jobs shed in 2012, totalling more than 1,130 less than in December 2007.

The Labour Market figures also showed 330 building industry jobs had gone in 2012 and in the wholesale and retail sector 370 jobs had been lost.

Martin Holmes from the Jersey Construction Council said the figures came as no surprise.

However, the Labour Market figures showed an increase of almost 300 staff in hotels, restaurants, bars, education and health last year.

Jobs in the public sector also increased by 110 in the year with 6,840 people working for the government in December.

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