The monthly unemployment figures published by the Office for National Statistics this week, yet again, showed a welcome fall in national unemployment. The unemployment rate is at its lowest since mid-2008, with more people in work than ever before and average earnings rising by a healthy 3%. It was particularly encouraging to see a sharp drop in youth unemployment, with the number of unemployed 16-24 year-olds falling by 40,000, down by 5% from the previous quarter.
But, Esher & Walton constituency has done even better! The local unemployment benefit claimant count (312) is now lower than at any point since January 2006, falling by 30% over the last year alone. This gives us the 8th lowest claimant rate of any parliamentary constituency in the UK, with just 0.6% of the local working-age adult population claiming unemployment benefit. Similarly, we have the joint fifth-lowest claimant rate among 18-24 year-olds of any constituency in the country.
It’s fantastic to see such vibrant local job creation. It’s a credit both to the many entrepreneurs and small businesses across the constituency, and the economic stability and competitiveness the government has instilled since 2010. We need to keep working hard to cut the deficit, cut taxes, and return the revenue from local business rates back to the local community – that will make a big difference here in Elmbridge.