2 May 2013
Councillor Lesley Brennan has dismissed SNP claims that Labour are using “ estimated out-of-date” unemployment figures to “talk Dundee down in order to try to tell a negative story about the city” saying that such figures are published by the Scottish Government.
Labour has highlighted “model-based” figures produced by the respected Office of National Statistics showing that their latest available figures indicating that Dundee has an estimated 7,500 unemployed, the highest unemployment figures since 1996.
These “model-based” figures, which the SNP claim are “misleading” and claim were being used to “talk Dundee down in order to try to tell a negative story about the city”, are also published by the Scottish Government.
(an example below from the Labour Market Monthly Briefing of model based unemployment figures published by the Scottish Government showing figures for Dundee)
The “model-based” figures are derived from the standards of the United Nations- based International Labour Organsation. (ILO)
Councillor Brennan said,
“It is sad to see the SNP in Dundee attempting to discredit figures that are published by their own Scottish Government.
“The Scottish Government publishes data on ILO model-based unemployment rates for Dundee and all other council areas.”
Commenting on Labour’s push for jobs for Dundee, she said,
“My Labour colleagues and I have three priorities for Dundee – jobs, jobs and more jobs.
“Criticising those who highlight unemployment in the city using figures published by the Scottish Government is really talking Dundee down”.
Councillor Kevin Keenan, Labour group leader on Dundee City Council , and Councillor Brennan, highlighted both the city’s “model-based” figures and the Job Seekers Allowance at the start of this year saying that “using both sets of figures gives a more complete picture of unemployment in our city” than the JSA figures on their own. “ and that “ the figures are compiled on a different basis”
The SNP have attempted to challenge the figures by claiming that the claimant count is some 2,000 lower than the ILO unemployment figure for Dundee , but as the Scottish Government point out in their Labour Market Monthly Briefing ,
“Claimant count is always lower than ILO unemployment because some unemployed people choose not to claim benefits or are not entitled to do so.” and that this is why “the ILO unemployment rate is the preferred indicator for measuring change in unemployment, as it provides wider coverage than the claimant count.”
Councillor Kevin Keenan repeated his comments in January :
"Whichever way unemployment in Dundee is measured, their conclusions point to the same remedy.
“We need to spend prudently on community-based infrastructure projects such as the provision of better flood defences, road construction and repair, new schools and new affordable homes
“Not only would this provide jobs now but it would also provide long-term benefit for the city.”
“The SNP challenge unemployment figures that are published by the Scottish government.
“Our ask of them is to deliver jobs for Dundee, starting with the promised civil service jobs.
“It’s time for the SNP to show some credibility."