I am angry to see that another month has been lost in the combat against unemployment in Delyn. The total number of unemployed claimants in Delyn constituency in September 2018 was 1,085.
This represents a rate of 3.3% of the economically active population aged 16-64.
The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.9%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 4.0% in June to August 2018.
The number of claimants in Delyn constituency is 310 higher than September 2017 and 50 higher than August 2018.
There were 240 claimants aged 18-24 in September 2018, 55 higher than September 2017.
In the statistical release, provided by the independent House of Commons Library, Universal Credit is mentioned as a factor behind unemployment rising. The briefing states that “Under Universal Credit, a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker’s Allowance. This has the effect of increasing the number of unemployed claimants. The effect is most visible in areas operating Universal Credit “Full Service””.
Delyn has been on “Full Service” Universal Credit for some time as it was one of the first constituencies to see the role-out.
This is now the third consecutive rise in unemployment in Delyn. Since December 2017 we have seen unemployment in Delyn increase by 230 people. That is what is often forgotten by the UK Government. Each one of these numbers represents a person that is now without a job and able to support themselves.
The rise in youth unemployment continues as well. It is deeply concerning that young people – those aged 18-24 – are having their life chances undermined as the UK Government is failing to tackle the need for skilled jobs in North East Wales. What we need is investment into our local services so that it drives up demand for supporting employment sectors. But where there should be investment from the UK Government we see further cuts.
It is important to note that Universal Credit is linked to the problems we are seeing. I have long argued that Universal Credit is fundamentally flawed. It is not making work pay and is harming those who cannot work.
If it wasn’t for the Welsh Government and Flintshire County Council taking practical steps to build in Delyn I’m sure unemployment would be far worse. It is there decision to build more council homes in our communities that has secured decent construction jobs. But for too long the Welsh Government and Flintshire County Council have carried the burden left behind by the UK Government. Time has come for investment from the Treasury to support decent jobs.