The rollout of Universal Credit is currently affecting the claimant count. Changes in claimant numbers may be a result of the rollout rather than changes in economic conditions.

The total number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in April 2018 was 1,680. This represents a rate of 3.3% of the economically active population aged 16-64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.9%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 4.2% between January and March 2018.

The number of claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency is 55 lower than April 2017 and 10 higher than March 2018. There were 330 claimants aged 18-24 in April 2018, 65 lower than April 2017.

Previously we provided a rank out of 650 constituencies based on the constituency claimant rate. However, ranks for all constituencies are affected by Universal Credit rollout. There have been marked increases in rank for constituencies where rollout is more advanced, which means other constituencies (in earlier stages of rollout) must drop down the rankings. This makes the ranks less informative and therefore we have omitted them.

Figures are not seasonally adjusted and are rounded to the nearest five. 'Unemployed claimants' include people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or who are claiming Universal Credit and are required to seek work.

Impact of Universal Credit

Under Universal Credit, a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker's Allowance. This has the effect of increasing the number of unemployed claimants. The effect is most visible in areas operating Universal Credit "Full Service” (where rollout of Universal Credit is more advanced). Most jobcentre areas have not yet moved to Full Service but will do so by the end of the year.

Investment in Dagenham and Rainham

On the old Sanofi Aventis site in Dagenham East construction is currently underway on what will be the largest film studio in London. This will bring 4,000 new skilled jobs, and will also open the doors of opportunity for young people looking to embark on careers in the creative arts.

The site in Dagenham East will also be home to one of the largest data centres in the country which will also provide new jobs. There is a lot of interest in the new development and the hope is that with lots of investment the site will breathe new life into the local economy.

London is moving east and we now have a new university along with lots of planned investment for the future. Including a planned Costa Coffee and Travelodge to join Elutec, the Pipe Major and Londoneast-uk at Dagenham East.

Jon Cruddas MP commented: “The level of unemployed claimants has gone up this month, which highlights there is still a lot of work to do. We also still have hundreds of unemployed residents not claiming JSA, and many more working on part-time and zero-hours contracts still struggling to make ends meet which are not reflected in the claimant numbers.

“The new film studio, the university, and other planned developments are a step in the right direction – but as ever we need to work hard to ensure that local residents are prioritised when new employment opportunity presents itself.”