A total of 8.3 per cent of people in Hull are claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance, more than twice the national average of 3.8 per cent.
But figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showed more than 2,000 jobs were available at Jobcentre Plus during a snapshot of the city one day in September.
The district manager for the DWP, Stuart Griffiths, said: “What I’m saying to people is successful job-seekers are on the ball. Especially at times of recession and tight labour markets, some people get the impression in their minds that there are no jobs about, so they stop looking and they end up long-term unemployed and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“I’m not saying to anybody jobs are easy to get but you’ve got to get onto these quickly. Unfortunately, some people maybe aren’t getting the right support or advice and are being left behind.
“Unemployment is not pleasant but if you get another job it’s not the end of the world – it’s when it becomes long-term that it’s a problem.
“Some people present themselves to employers and are not making the best of that opportunity. Somebody who understands how to dress appropriately and does some research on the company – a lot of employers appoint on attitude. I don’t think that’s controversial – it just makes sense.”
Mr Griffiths said some of the hardest posts to fill were for care assistants and jobs in call centres, but others available include potentially well-paid and attractive jobs such as HGV drivers, joiners and sales representatives. New figures on the labour market are due to be released by the Office for National Statistics today.
Unemployment figures in Hull could get worse after a number of major employers in the city and wider region recently announced plans to shed hundreds of jobs, including Seven Seas, Comet, and Kimberly Clark.
The city also has severe problems with youth unemployment and a big reliance on the public sector, with more job losses expected at the city council over the coming months.