Every month, the House of Commons Library updates Members of Parliament on the level of unemployment in their constituency. I am always sure to scrutinise these figures closely because increasing employment in Gosport and regenerating our local economy are my top priorities as MP.
While I often draw attention to these figures through social media and press releases, I thought constituents might value being able to access this data quickly and easily on my website. Therefore, I decided to launch a Gosport Unemployment Tracker. Each month I will update the figures in accordance with the data received from the House of Commons Library.
The JSA claimant count is the best short-term indicator available for unemployment at a local level. This is because it is based on administrative records, rather than survey data.
It is important to note that a reduction in the claimant count does not necessarily correspond to an equivalent increase in the number of people in work. An individual might stop their JSA or Universal Credit claim for a reason other than getting a job. Some people may have stopped looking for work or no longer meet the eligibility criteria for JSA – for example, because they have entered full-time education or training, or for some other reason.
The number of JSA claimants, though, is still used as the most reliable measure of unemployment at a constituency level.
Previously we were provided with a rank out of 650 constituencies based on the constituency claimant rate. However, ranks for all constituencies are affected by Universal Credit rollout. This makes the ranks less informative and therefore they have been omitted.