Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker, has welcomed the lowest figures for unemployment in Worcester since monthly records for the constituency began in 2006 and expressed his hope that the claimant count may soon fall below 1,000 in the city for the first time in a decade. The latest claimant count shows 1,008 people on JSA in Worcester, 1.5% of the working population and this is the lowest percentage figure ever as well as the lowest absolute number since 2004. It means that unemployment in Worcester has fallen by a fifth in the last year and 63% since in peaked in 2010.

The youth claimant count has also reached a new record low in Worcester of 260, down 15 on the last month and breaking the previous records from June and July 2015 when it stood at 265. When Robin first became MP for Worcester in May 2010 the figure stood at 710 and the peak in recent years was in the Summer of 2009, under Labour, when it stood at 805. The latest youth unemployment figure in Worcester marks a fall of 17% from September last year and means that youth unemployment remains down more than two thirds from its peak. Robin spoke at the Conservative party conference last week about the drive to eliminate youth unemployment, setting out his belief that this is one of the most important things a One Nation Conservative government could achieve.

Robin recently visited the Talent Match programme run by the Shaw Trust and YMCA Worcestershire which helps young people facing long term unemployment to develop the skills and confidence to find work. He met a number of people who had secured work through the Government and lottery backed scheme and  heard how they had benefited from the intensive support it provides. He also spoke at fringes about youth engagement, disability employment and the power of sport to turn around young lives at the Conservative Party conference.

Commenting on today’s figures Robin said:

“I am delighted to see the latest local figures mark a return to the trend of falling unemployment in Worcester and a number of new records. Over the last five years the situation has been transformed with every major category of unemployment more than halved but I am particularly pleased to see a new record low in youth unemployment. We need to keep up the drive to create jobs locally and to support more people into work. Apprenticeships, skills programmes and some of the great support programmes such as Talent Match can and will make a difference.”

“As the overall claimant count falls we can put more focus on supporting those that are furthest from the workplace and I am particularly excited about some of the work that is being done to help more disabled people and people with learning difficulties find work that suits them. I was proud to speak alongside the Minister for disabilities, Justin Tomlinson at the party conference on this issue and it is exciting that in the last year we have seen over 200,000 people with disabilities find work across the UK. Along with government programmes to support enterprise and new businesses such as start-up loans and the new enterprise allowance, these changes amount to a revolution in employment and one that we need to continue.”

Notes to editors:

For detailed figures on the claimant count in Worcester see:

https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/reports/lmp/wpca/1929380363/report.aspx

For Robin’s previous commentary on this issue see:

https://www.walker4worcester.com/claimant-count-stays-near-record-lows-but-walker-warns-against-complacency/