Ipswich: Gummer hails unemployment fall – but Labour warns squeeze continues
15:11 16 April 2014
A dramatic fall in the number of unemployed people in Ipswich has been welcomed by the town’s Conservative MP.
However his Labour opponent warned that while the drop in unemployment should be welcomed, families were still facing a squeeze as wages continued to lag behind inflation. The number of Job Seeker Allowance claimants in Ipswich fell to 3,051 in March – a drop of 90 on February’s figure and a fall of 879 since March last year.
Mr Gummer said the figure was the lowest since November 2008, and showed that the government’s economic policy was working.
He said it was particularly pleasing that more people were finding that it was better to work than to see living on benefits as a lifestyle choice.
He added: “These figures show that we are making progress, and they are real jobs being filled which is very good for the town and the region in general.”
However Labour challenger David Ellesmere was not sure the news was so good for economy as a whole.
He said: “Clearly it is good news that fewer people are having to claim job seekers’ allowance and that more have jobs.
“However you have to look at the kind of jobs people are doing, and what they are earning in those jobs. The cost of living crisis still has people in its grip – the average family is now £1,600 a year worse off than when this government came into power.”
Across Suffolk the number of people claiming job seekers’ allowance in March as 9,244, a fall of 466 on last month and a fall of 3,991 on March 2013.