Unemployment levels have more than halved in the last 18 months across the Ludlow constituency. That’s very good news. Youth unemployment is falling too. And we have much lower unemployment than many areas around us and the UK as a whole. What we need to concentrate on now is the quality of jobs.
Let’s do a few numbers and a few caveats.
Across Ludlow parliamentary constituency, today’s statistics show that the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance is down to 519 people. That is still a lot of people, but it’s just 1.3% of the working population. Nationally, 2.9% of the working population are on Jobseekers.
In the peak of the recession, as the economy was squeezed to reduce debt after the banking crisis, we had 1,146 people on Jobseekers (2.8%, still much less than the 5.1% nationally).
Youth unemployment here went up a bit last summer as former college students signed on. Now it’s down to 120 young people and, in turn, that’s down from 300 at the peak of the recession. Currently our youth unemployment is 2.2% compared to a national and regional average of 3.8%.
We should cheer this. And we should cheer the national picture where less than two million people are unemployed.
And now the caveats. We should recognise that the Jobseekers measure of unemployment is only about half the real level of unemployment (more details in this earlier blog). Many jobs are also low skilled and low paid. Many people are also underemployed. Wages are often low, particularly for the self-employed.
The ambition for towns like Ludlow has to be to create jobs that are better paid. We need people to work in care and catering. But we lose a lot of our highly skilled young people to other parts of the country. We need to create an environment where we jobs here for them.
It’s a big agenda. But employment was always one of the biggest agendas.
Update: 12 November 2014. Further fall in unemployment
Unemployment across the Ludlow parliamentary constituency in now less than half the level it was a year ago.
This is great news, especially since the JSA claimant rate across the Ludlow constituency is just 1.2%, less than half the national rate of 2.8%. But I’d like to sound a couple of notes of caution.
We have to remember that the number of people seeking Jobseekers Allowance is usually only around half real the real number of unemployed. Many people can’t or won’t claim.
I’m concerned that the fall in unemployment among young people seems to have levelled out. It’s been hovering around 125 people for five months. We need to tackle that because it’s not good for young people to spend months out of education or employment.
We must also create higher paid and more skilled jobs. At the moment, we lose a lot of our most skilled young people to other parts of the country. We need to encourage businesses that will provide jobs for highly skilled young people.
Unemployment across the Ludlow constituency, as measured by those claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), has fallen to 491people compared to 1,060 people two years ago. The Ludlow constituency now has a JSA claimant rate of just 1.2%, less than half the national rate of 2.8%.
Two years ago, 300 young people (age 18-24) were claiming JSA. Now there are 125 young people claiming JSA. But young peoples’ unemployment fell to that level five months ago and it hasn’t shifted since.