Unemployment figures should concern us all

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Unemployment  in Heywood and Middleton is above the national average and has increased in the last 12 months, according to the latest government figures released this week.

This should be a cause for concern for everyone who cares about prosperity and growth in our region. The latest information shows that with an unemployment rate of 3.3% Heywood and Middleton has the 162nd highest unemployment rate out of the 650 UK parliamentary constituencies. The national average rate is 2.4%. The data also shows that there are more claimants in Heywood and Middleton now than there were in the same month last year.

I’m incredibly concerned about these latest numbers, and the increase in the last 12 months is especially worrying.

The new Prime Minister and her government have a long way to go if their vision of a Northern Powerhouse is going to be a reality. For far too long, areas like ours have been forgotten about by government and starved of investment needed to stimulate growth and provide jobs and infrastructure, and I hope the new Greater Manchester Mayor – who will hopefully be Labour's Andy Burnham– will be given the backing to address this issue which is so vital to our future prosperity.

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