Blood and Property has been told that a number of members of staff at the Mare Street Jobcentre Plus in Hackney Central have not have their contracts renewed. That's as the number of Job Seekers Allowance claimants using Hackney job centres hits record highs.
Back in 2009 Derek Harvey, external relations manager for Job Centre Plus and a member of Team Hackney told Blood and Property that JCP was “gearing up to handle greater volumes” of JSA claimants.
In those days the combined number of Job Seekers Allowance claimants in Hackney North and South was 9,350 (May 2009) falling to 9,308 (June 2009).
The forecast was correct - the count in September 2011 was 11,208 - a rise of more than 20% since the new recruits were taken on.
But now the volumes are here, it looks like JCP is gearing down.
A DWP spokesperson told Blood and Property: "Jobcentre Plus recruited a large number of people on temporary contracts to deal with the recession. As the Government looks to grow the economy and reduce the deficit JCP is now reducing its overall staffing, this year through a combination of normal turnover and releasing some of the people who were recruited on Fixed Term Appointments (FTAs) as their contracts come to an end. Its priority is to ensure support for people in Hackney is maintained."
This post is going up before the ONS releases the latest unemployment figures for the UK which will show whether or not the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance has risen again Hackney.
If it has then Hackney will be maintaining its highest level of JSA claimants since the Financial Crisis