The number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in February 2013 was 3,587. This represents a rate of 7.4% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 122nd highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest rate of unemployment, 650th = lowest rate of unemployment.)

The number of claimants is 115 lower than in February 2012 and 78 higher than in January 2013. These data are not seasonally adjusted.

Employment may be on the rise nationwide but unfortunately here in Dagenham and Rainham the numbers tell a different story seeing a 0.2% rise in unemployment locally. This is disappointing news as throughout 2012 the number of unemployed claimants had been steadily decreasing in the area.

There is a lot of investment scheduled to come to Dagenham and Rainham in 2013. The new Tesco distribution centre being built near Rainham which is set to be completed this year will bring between 200 and 300 new jobs to the local area. However there has been much disappointment surrounding this project. Initially 700 jobs were to be on offer to local residents but due to the closure of the Harlow distribution centre many workers are set to relocate and they have been given priority by Tesco management.

Jon Cruddas MP said: "I am meeting up with [Tesco] to discuss what the job implications are for local people. Throughout my discussions on this project my concerns have been to ensure as many local people as possible find work at the new distribution centre. Times are hard and we need as many job opportunities as we can for local people."

Concerning the closure of the Harlow distribution centre and subsequent mass redundancies, he said: "I was of the view that this new site was not linked to other closures and redeployments."

There are currently proposals to build a Sainsbury's superstore on the Sanofi Aventis site. And there are rumours that a Travelodge will be built in the coming year, providing more local employment. Investments such as these are set to help the figures stabilise later in 2013.

Local MP Jon Cruddas says: "the key to ensuring this is to make sure that it is jobs for local people. The discussions are still going on to ensure maximum benefits in the community – we are hopefully looking at thousands of local jobs in the next year or two for local residents."