We all know that South Northamptonshire is a great place to live, work and bring up children; we have some of the best countryside you can find anywhere in England, beautiful villages and towns, and a positive, friendly approach to life. I don’t think there are many areas of the country that can compare.
The House of Commons Library produces statistics for each constituency on a range of indicators, and one of the most interesting ones are the monthly claimant count numbers. You might be interested to know that, once again, South Northamptonshire has maintained its fantastically strong employment rates, with only 0.7 per cent of our economically active population claiming benefits. This has been a trend that has been established over many months, and we actually have one of the lowest claimant rates anywhere in the country; 17th lowest out of 650 total.
I set up job clubs in Towcester and Brackley to help local residents deal with the big spike in unemployment following the 2008 global financial crisis, and I am delighted that South Northants has the lowest rate anywhere in Northamptonshire. We share joint first, out of all the 46 East Midlands constituencies, with Derbyshire Dales and Charnwood who also have a claimant rate of 0.7 per cent. This means more individuals and families in employment with a secure roof over their heads, living and working in our robust local economy and contributing to a better Britain.
Unemployment across the UK is at its lowest levels since the mid-1970s, and employment – people in work, people taking home a wage, a salary, to support their family – is at record levels, the highest since records began.