The total number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in August 2015 was 1,532. This represents a rate of 3.1% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 197th highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest claimant rate, 650th = lowest claimant rate.) The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.5%.
This includes 1,490 people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance and 42 people who were claiming Universal Credit but were not in employment. Some of these Universal Credit claimants may no longer be seeking work.
The total number of claimants (both Jobseeker's Allowance and Universal Credit) is 537 lower than in August 2014 and 22 lower than in July 2015. There were 346 claimants aged 18-24 in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in August 2015, 184 lower than in August 2014. (JSA figures for 18-24 year olds are rounded to the nearest 5.) These data are not seasonally adjusted. Dagenham and Rainham is still in the top 200 out of 650 constituencies for unemployment. Although these numbers show improvement, there is still a lot of work to be done. Many are still underpaid and employed on zero hour contracts, which is something the trade unions and Jon Cruddas MP are working hard to address locally.
We have to tackle the problem of underemployment both nationally and locally; the TUC estimate that over a million workers are undertaking part time work as full time work is not available. This has led to many individuals and families being left in fuel and food poverty, which is not only a national issue but a local one as well.
MP Jon Cruddas says: “The number of JSA claimants has consistently fallen every month since the welfare and housing benefit reforms in April 2013 – with the proliferation of zero-hours contracts, part-time work and the increased difficulty in accessing JSA it is possible to suggest that a fall in claimants isn’t necessarily attributed to a rise in full employment or living standards.
“Many people across Dagenham & Rainham are in part-time work or are employed on zero-hours contracts, meaning that they are no longer entitled to JSA but do not have the security of a standardised wage coming in on a regular basis. There are deep issues in the current employment market leaving many struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month, and with the proposed cut to Tax Credits on the horizon I envision things becoming even harder for working people in the local area, many of who rely on the credits to get by.
“The Tories say that the economy is growing but the people I speak to in Dagenham & Rainham aren’t feeling it. This is something that needs to be addressed. I’m seeing more and more local residents coming to my advice surgeries that are in employment but are still in great need of help.”