Bob Ainsworth has welcomed the small drop in the Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) claimant count in Coventry, whilst calling upon the government to take action to tackle unemployment in Coventry, which is persistently higher than the UK-wide average.
Figure released on Wednesday 20June 2012 by the Office for National Statistics shows that in May 2012, the proportion of the working population in Coventry claiming JSA stood at 4.8%, a reduction of 0.2% from 5% at the same point last year. Despite this good news, the claimant count is still 0.9% higher than the national average. The variation between the UK-wide count and the Coventry count has fluctuated between 1.4% and 0.9% in the last year.
“The reduction in the claimant count is welcome news but the government needs to do more to tackle the problems that we face in Coventry and across the country. Unemployment among both men and women is persistently above the national average as is the number of people claiming JSA for more than 12 months.
“After the shambles of the government’s budget, the government needs to come up with a growth plan that targets support to areas, like Coventry, which have higher JSA claimant counts than the national average. A VAT cut for instance, which would bring down the price of fuel and put money back into the pockets of low earners, might be a good place to start.”