Steve McCabe MP is calling on the West Midlands Combined authority Mayor, to do more to tackle unemployment hotspots as figures released today reveal that unemployment in Selly Oak constituency is almost DOUBLE the national average.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics on 22 January 2019, reveal that the number of unemployed claimants in the Birmingham Selly Oak constituency has been rising every month in the last year and now stands at 6%, almost double the UK national average of 3.1% for December 2018. Latest statistics also reveal that the unemployment rate for the West Midlands now stands at 3.9%, and has been rising each month for the last year.
The Mayor for the West Midlands Combined Authority was elected in May 2017 with a promise that this new post would provide a laser sharp focus on unemployment and the skills gap. At a recent meeting in Westminster, the Mayor told MPs and others that he was making steady progress. There are some employment pilots which have helped to tackle youth unemployment but little progress has been made to tackle stubborn areas of long-term unemployment and the skills gap in areas like Selly Oak constituency where there are concentrations of high rates of unemployment and deprivation within what might be regarded as an otherwise relatively affluent constituency.
Commenting on the figures, Steve McCabe MP said:
“Unemployment has been rising in my constituency and the West Midlands region over the last 12 months but unfortunately I see little being done to tackle the most difficult problems like long-term unemployment and the skills gap in Selly Oak where unemployment is now almost double the national average. I want to know what this new post of a directly elected Mayor is doing to tackle this issue. At present, Government ministers avoid responsibility by now claiming this is down to the Mayor and the Combined Authority so we need some real targets whereby we can assess progress and a real action plan to tackle long term unemployment in these hotspots.”