I am frustrated that unemployment has now risen in Delyn for six consecutive months. The total number of unemployed claimants in Delyn in March 2018 was 965.
This represents a rate of 2.9% of the economically active population aged 16-64, the 258th highest of the 650 UK constituencies. (1st = highest claimant rate, 650th = lowest claimant rate.)
The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.8%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 4.2% between December 2017 and February 2018.
The number of claimants in Delyn constituency is 215 higher than March 2017 and 15 higher than February 2018.
There were 225 claimants aged 18-24 in March 2018, 30 higher than March 2017.
Delyn has now had to suffer unemployment rising for six consecutive months. We now have over 200 more people unemployed than we did this time last year and youth unemployment continues to climb. These past six months point directly to the inaction of the UK Government to help areas in North East Wales gain investment and the job opportunities we need.
Slashing funding for public services, swinging cuts for social security and continued underinvestment in the public realm have resulted in people losing their jobs and their ability to have pride in going to work. Not only does this have a huge economic effect, but it has a profound emotional effect on people, their friends and their families. People want work. They want to be able to see their children secure a decent job with positive prospects. But with each passing month this hope is washed away by the rise in unemployment.
Where the UK Government has chosen the path of inaction, I and my colleagues in the Welsh Government have been working tirelessly to try and bridge the gap created by Westminster. I am pressing for the North Wales Growth Deal in Westminster and I know my colleagues in the Welsh Assembly are implementing policies that try and bring investment into Wales. We may not have the resources of the UK Government but we have the determination to overcome their failings.
Delyn has so much to offer to businesses: we have a skilled and dedicated workforce. Any business looking for a location that will deliver them prosperity and growth should look no further than North East Wales.