Jim McGovern calls for jobs action in Dundee
26 July 2014
Dundee West MP Jim McGovern has called for action to create jobs in Dundee as new figures reveal that the employment rate in Dundee is significantly below the UK average.
Research conducted by the GMB trade union has demonstrated that despite signs of economic improvement, employment levels in Dundee are lower than in the Scotland and the rest of the UK.
In March 2014 employment rates were are 59.2% in Dundee West, while Scotland’s average rate was 71.5% and the UK average rate was 71.7%.
Alongside low employment levels unemployment in Dundee West is also significantly higher than Scotland and the rest of the UK.
In the most recent figures for June 2014 unemployment the number of people on Jobseekers Allowance was 6.4% in Dundee West, 3.6% in Scotland and 3.3% in the rest of the UK.
A significant issue facing Dundee West is the higher than average economic inactivity which acts to bring down the overall employment figures.
For March 2014 32.2% of Dundee West’s population was economically inactive, which includes those who are full-time students, those on temporary sick leave and long term sick, and those who have taken early retirement.
Notably this includes 9.2% of the economically inactive population on temporary sick leave, and a much larger percentage on long term sick leave (30.7%).
This latter figure is higher than the number of students in the city, which accounts for 29.3% of the economically inactive population.
Jim McGovern said;
“ I welcome the research released today by the GMB.
“The ONS figures they use show that for all the government’s warm words about an economic recovery there remains a long way to go before ordinary people feel any benefit.”
“In Dundee we need to see a jobs strategy to create jobs and get the unemployed into work.
“It is simply unacceptable that Dundee rates so poorly in the national league tables.
“In a city with such talent, energy and motivation I firmly believe that with the right support Dundee can top the charts and see the majority of our residents in work.
“This is not just a jobs problem; it is clear that Dundee West has a significantly higher number of people on temporary and long term sick leave.
“Of course those who cannot work must be supported, but I believe it is important that we get to the bottom of why so many of our residents are too unwell to work.
“That is a healthcare problem which the Scottish Government must address, and it is a welfare problem caused by the UK government.
“Closing supported work places for disabled residents, such as Remploy, completely botching the Work Programme, disability benefit cuts and introducing a draconian and harmful sanctions regime can only have made matters worse.
“People in Dundee will rightly be sceptical of any claims made by the Chancellor that the economy has recovered, they are simply not seeing it affecting their lives.
“They will also question the Scottish Government’s claims that the NHS under their watch is working effectively.
“These figures prove that their claims are unfounded.
“What we need is a comprehensive and joint strategy to create jobs, tackle chronic health problems and get more Dundonians into work.
“I have every confidence that our residents can and want to do so.
“They just need better support from both of their governments.”