The total number of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in April 2015 was 1,644. This represents a rate of 3.3% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 187th highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest claimant rate, 650th = lowest claimant rate.) The percentage of unemployed claimants in the constituency is proportionally higher than the average for London which rests at 2.7% of the population.

The number of claimants is 659 lower than in April 2014 and 58 lower than in March 2015. 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.

The old Sanofi Aventis site in Dagenham East is really starting to take shape now in terms of investment. The Marston's pub/restaurant is almost ready to open and Sainsbury's have now secured a plot. Travelodge have also indicated that they may be interested in developing a hotel in behind Marston's. There is also the prospect of the NHS utilising part of the site, contributing to over 1000 jobs being created. Jon Cruddas will be working with the various investors over the coming months to ensure that jobs are created for local people.

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: "Whilst positive on the surface these latest figures do not account for the people working part-time, still struggling to make ends meet. With high levels of underemployment, zero hour contracts and low wages people are falling through the cracks. 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.

"With regard to the works being undertaken on the Sanofi site; it is crucial that we ensure it is local jobs for local people. I will be doing all I can in the coming months, with the help of local Councillors to make sure that this is the case."