*Published in the Barking and Dagenham Post 06.10.21

Last week was Labour Party conference and some of the central themes were work, fairness, and security – making Britain the best place to grow up and the best place to grow old in. This is an important message for areas like my constituency of Dagenham and Rainham, where in Barking and Dagenham we have one of the youngest populations in London, and in Havering we have the oldest.

Royal Mail and the CWU have announced that they will work together to deliver postal apprenticeships for ages 16-17. Recruitment will be in line with the principles set out in the joint statement and most likely in medium and large Delivery Offices which are able to provide the right level of coaching and learning for individuals.

Jon Cruddas MP has today joined Labour's pledge to make, buy and sell more in Britain and under a future Labour government. The party has unveiled a plan to raise standards, award more public contracts to British businesses and bring the jobs of the future to areas like Dagenham and Rainham.

The number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in October 2020 was 6,330. This represents a rate of 9.1% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 6.3%.

There are 3,595 more claimants than in March 2020 before the UK lockdown began and 115 less claimants than September 2020.

The Government's slow and incoherent response to this pandemic and their muddled road map to get us out the other side could hit areas like ours hardest. The early failure to recognise the scale of this crisis means we are already paying the economic price.

The window is closing to protect people's livelihoods and we need an urgent package of economic measures in response, with a clear focus on jobs, jobs, jobs.

The City of London Corporation recently announced that Barking and Dagenham had secured the bid to be the new home of Billingsgate, Smithfield and New Spitalfields markets. The markets are iconic London landmarks that have been a central part of trade for hundreds of years.

The total number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in June 2019 was 2,470. This represents a rate of 4.5% of the economically active population aged 16-64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 3.6%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 3.8% in March to May 2019.

The total number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in June 2018 was 1,745. This represents a rate of 3.4% of the economically active population aged 16-64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.8%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from the survey data, was 4.2% in March to May 2018.

The number of claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency is 65 higher than June 2017 and 15 higher than May 2018. There were 315 claimants aged 18-24 in June 2018, 40 lower than June 2017.

We must never forget the strikes at the Dagenham Ford plant. This week we celebrate this major contribution to British post-war history. The brave actions of these local women some 50 years ago led to the Equal Pay Act - a major turning point in achieving equality at work between men and women in this country. Dagenham has a long proud history of working class women standing up for their rights, and the fight they started back in 1968 is one that continues today. We have come on leaps and bounds since 1968 but there is still a prevalent gender pay gap which needs to be overturned.

The total number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in August 2017 was 1,630. This represents a rate of 3.2% of the economically active population aged 16-64, the 191st highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest claimant rate, 650th = lowest claimant rate.) The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.5%.

The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 4.3% between May and July 2017.

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