THE number of people in Beaconsfield and Chesham who are unemployed has risen, despite the national unemployment figures showing a reduction.
Unemployment in Beaconsfield has risen in the past year from 1.7 per cent (927) to 1.8 per cent (1,007).
Chesham also recorded a rise from 1.7 per cent (946) to 1.8 per cent (1,007).
In the UK as a whole, unemployment is down from 8.4 per cent to 8.3 per cent (a decrease of 35,000 to 2.65 million) between December and February, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Bill Penn from Gradnet, a steering group that helps graduates in South Buckinghamshire to find jobs, said many young people are not getting jobs because they are very specific about what they want.
“I think local graduates are still finding it very hard to get the jobs they want. Many have set their hearts on particular career paths – which is perfectly reasonable – but the competition for what limited opportunities there are is very fierce.
“Of course, come this summer, another wave of new graduates will be coming on to the market.”
Jobseekers said waiting for a career sometimes means being unemployed for longer.
Lisa Mitchell, 23, from Chesham, has just started to apply for jobs. She graduated in 2010 after doing an animal science degree.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do, which I think makes it difficult,” she said.
“I know I want to get into events now. There are jobs there, it’s just getting something you want to do. If you’re trying to start a career it just takes longer.”
Liz Cooley, who attended the Gradnet sessions in Beaconsfield last year, has now found a job as a magazine reporter.
She said: “I knew what I wanted, but I’d apply to some jobs and there would be over 1,000 applicants. There was just such a high volume of people applying who wanted the same career.
“Most people I know have gone on to get jobs, so I think the market is changing and it’s not as bad as it was. It’s just knowing how to go about it and waiting for the job you want.”