The number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in December 2020 was 6,585. This represents a rate of 9.4% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 6.3%.

There are 3,850 more claimants than in March 2020 before the UK lockdown began and 205 more claimants than November 2020. There are currently 13,510 individuals in Dagenham and Rainham on Universal Credit.

Figures are not seasonally adjusted and are rounded to the nearest five.

Long term trends

The unadjusted claimant count is currently not a good indicator of long- term trends in the number of people looking for work. It does however provide us with a measure of how the number of claimants has changed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The adjusted alternative claimant count is updated on a quarterly basis.

The ongoing impact of coronavirus on Universal Credit

Under Universal Credit, a broader spectrum of people are required to look for work than under Jobseeker's Allowance. This has the effect of increasing the number of unemployed claimants. In addition to this, as part of the government's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), a number of enhancements were introduced to Universal Credit. Consequently, whilst some of the increase in the unemployed claimant count will be due to people who have become unemployed, some will also be due to employed people who have become eligible for Universal Credit as part of the government response to Coronavirus.

The Government recently announced that there are plans to remove the additional £20 Universal Credit payment which was put in place to further support those claiming during the lockdown period. The removal of this money has been met with fierce public and parliamentary opposition. The Government will take the decision on whether to keep this payment in place or remove it in April over the coming days.

Jon Cruddas MP: "The Government must do the right thing and stop the planned £20 a week cut to Universal Credit, which will hit over 13,000 of the most vulnerable people living in Dagenham and Rainham. The pandemic is ongoing, pulling more and more families into financial hardship. This £20 is what enables some families to put food on the table at the end of the week. I will continue lobbying from the opposition benches to ensure that my constituents get the support they need."