WOMEN in Hampshire are being hit hard as the number of people out of a job in the county rises, new figures show.
Job figures released yesterday showed that 110 more people in Portsmouth claimed Jobseekers Allowance in September than in August – the highest rise in the region.
Nationally, unemployment is at a 17-year high, with 2.75m people out of work as public sector cuts bite and the jobs being created in the private sector fail to catch up with demand.
As our table shows, in Hampshire, 156 more women are out of work, but six fewer men in the county are having to sign-on.
For those signing on at the Jobcentre Plus in Portsmouth yesterday, the future looks bleak.
Andrea Jeronimo, 22, from Portsmouth, said she had enrolled in a hairdressing course to try to get herself back into work.
She said: ‘Looking for work just became pointless, because there wasn’t anything and I was out of work for about three or four years.’
Some jobseekers have gone back to college to retrain and get vocational qualifications in the hope that there will be a job at the end of the course.
Hannah Cresswell, 18, from Fratton, said: ‘It’s rubbish. I find I can’t get a job because my qualifications are really low, but I’ve tried going back to training but it didn’t work out for me.
‘Because I’m 19 in November going to college would cost me £26 – and I haven’t even got that.’
Wayne Stamp, 19, of North End, says he has been out of work since July, ever since finishing college.
He said: ‘I’ve been finding it really hard to get a job, and all I’m looking for is something like shelf-stacker, a night job that means I can look after myself, earn some money to pay to live.
‘I did want to go into advertising, but I’m finding it really tough.’
Portsmouth’s figures rose from 4,959 in August to 5,069 in September. Gosport also recorded 45 more people claiming the benefit, from 1,518 to 1,563.
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘It is a huge worry, but the Office of Budget Responsibility is still saying the national figures will drop by one million by 2015.’
Havant’s figures rose by six people, from 2,335 in August to 2,341 in September.
Fareham’s figures dropped by one, from 1,252 to 1,251, and east Hampshire’s dropped by nine, from 1,061 to 1,052.
Chichester’s figures fell the most with 23, from 1,410 in August to 1,387 in September.