MP calls on Government to do more to tackle seaside unemployment

Blackpool South Labour MP Gordon Marsden
Blackpool South Labour MP Gordon Marsden
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Blackpool South Labour MP Gordon Marsden has said the Government needs to do more to help solve the chronic unemployment problems in seaside towns such as Blackpool.

He was speaking after the Office of National Statistics revealed the monthly unemployment figures which showed in his Blackpool South Constituency showed an increase in the number of people claiming work age benefits in September rose by 0.2 per cent on the previous year.

We are lagging behind and the gap is getting worse

But Mr Marsden said he had looked at the unemployment figures compared to the national rate and the regional rate compared to last year and found Blackpool was being left behind.

He said: “The national figures I believe under report the number of young people out of work for a variety of reasons.

“Looking at comparators between what has changed in the unemployment figures in Blackpool South compared with the rest of the UK and regionally, it shows that we are worse off than the UK and worse regionally.

“The figures show that the unemployment rates was 2.6 per cent worse than the national rate last year and three per cent worse this year.

“Regionally we were 1.9 per cent worse than the North West last year and this time 2.3 per cent worse.

“We are lagging behind and the gap is growing in both cases. If you look at the percentage change between this September and last year the rise is getting on towards five per cent.

“The Government must commit to do more to help employment in seaside towns and second level towns.

“There are also the headwinds caused by Brexit too which are concerning.

“Some of the big European Social Fund schemes we have been using to support employment and training are in question. The Government must step in quickly to fight our corner or the situation will worsen. It is very concerning.”

Nationally, the ONS said there were 31.8 million people in work – up by more than 560,000 in the past year.