MP Emma Reynolds in call over jobless count
Boris Johnson has been urged to tackle rising unemployment which an MP says is blighting some parts of the country.
Labour MP Emma Reynolds says new figures showing a national fall in the number of jobless people "masks huge regional disparities", with some areas showing huge spikes in unemployment.
Figures for August 2019 show a UK rate of 3.7 per cent of people unemployed and claiming out of work benefits, compared to 8.4 per cent in Ms Reynolds' Wolverhampton North East constituency.
Tories in the city have hit back, pointing out that the claimant count in Wolverhampton has fallen drastically over the last nine years.
Data from the House of Commons Library shows that Wolverhampton's unemployment rate has been more than double the national average every month since January 2015.
Ms Reynolds said: “In July I challenged the Prime Minister to make tackling our city’s unemployment his number one priority, and since then the numbers have gone up and up.
"The Government always boasts about national employment figures, but this masks huge regional disparities.
“The Prime Minister proroguing Parliament means he can avoid scrutiny on issues like this.
"People across Wolverhampton deserve to know what his government is going to do to stop unemployment rising.
"While he sits on his hands and wastes the next five weeks, there are underlying causes of unemployment in Wolverhampton which need addressing – tackling our region’s skills shortage, and providing far greater funding for Further Education so people can retrain and gain the skills they need for work.
“When Parliament returns on October 14, there will be a new Queen’s Speech setting out the Parliamentary agenda. I’m calling on the Prime Minister to make tackling unemployment in places like Wolverhampton a key theme. We must get people into work across our city.”
In Wolverhampton North East the number of people unemployed and claiming out of work benefits rose by 630 people in the last year to 3,505 – a rise of 18 per cent. However, the figure is 16 per cent lower than it was in April 2010.
Across the city the number of claimants fell by 17 per cent over the last nine years.
The Wolverhampton South West Parliamentary candidate for the Conservatives, Stuart Anderson, said: “These figures show that Boris Johnson and the Conservatives are providing a solid foundation on which to build Britain’s economic future.
“Families across the country are benefitting from a sustained boost in their wages. And with a record number of people in full-time work, we are giving more households the security of a regular wage.
“Labour mean more dither and delay on Brexit, whilst their economic plans would wreck the economy – leaving us with more debt, higher taxes and fewer jobs, hurting the people they claim to help the most.”