The number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in December 2013 was 2,383. This represents a rate of 4.9% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 178th highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest rate of unemployment, 650th = lowest rate of unemployment.)
The number of claimants is 1092 lower than in December 2012 and 124 lower than in November 2013. These data are not seasonally adjusted. This month Dagenham and Rainham has the lowest rate of claimants since the boundary changes in 2010. However there is still work to be done. Many are still underpayed and employed on zero hour contracts which is something the council and Jon Cruddas MP are working hard to address locally.
With this positive spike in the unemployment data we also see a decrease in youth unemployment locally, with 50 less claimants aged 18-24 in the last month. Dagenham and Rainham currently has the lowest rate of youth unemployment since May 2010.
There is a lot of investment scheduled to come to Dagenham and Rainham over the course of the year which will undoubtedly help the local economy stabilise. A new ASDA superstore opened in October bringing with it over 300 local jobs. Following this, Sainsbury's are set to build a superstore on the Sanofi Aventis site bringing with it around 450 jobs for local residents. And there are rumours that a Travelodge will be built in the coming year, providing more local employment.
Trade Unions have been campaigning regarding the abuse of zero hour contracts. Unite has recently published research showing over 5.5 million workers are on these contracts that promote exploitation as flexibility. The abuse of zero hour contracts is completely unacceptable.
We also have to tackle the problem of underemployment nationally; 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: "These latest figures are really positive for the local area. We need to continue this trend, working with investors and bringing jobs to Dagenham and Rainham.
"However, whilst positive these statistics also tell a different story. With high levels of underemployment, zero hour contracts and low wages people are falling through the cracks. I'm seeing more and more local residents coming to my advice surgeries that are in employment but are still struggling to make ends meet. This is something that needs to be addressed."