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Low unemployment figures "Welcome, but more needs to be done" says MP

September 17, 2012 5:17 PM

Tim at GilkesMP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron has welcomed figures revealed by the Office of National Statistics that placed Westmorland and Lonsdale with the lowest unemployment figures in England.

Residence based unemployment in the constituency was recorded at 0.7% for the last year which is four times lower than the rest of the region. This puts Westmorland and Lonsdale 4th lowest out of 650 UK constituencies with the lowest unemployment in England. The number of claimants is 3 lower than in July 2012. This data is not seasonally adjusted.

Tim is campaigning to bring more well paid jobs to the SouthLakes and was involved in the successful bid to bring the £500million GlaxoSmithKline development to Ulverston, an estimated £70m to the Canal Head Development in Kendal and 100 jobs back at the re-opened Ambleside Campus. Tim also helped secure success for Cumbria's bid in DEFRA's Rural Growth Network which will bring investment to Clawthorpe Hall in Burton-in-Kendal, Ambleside Campus and the Marl in Ulverston.

In addition, Tim is championing apprenticeships in our county. Tim wants to make 2012 the 'year of the apprentice' in Cumbria. So far over 3,200 people have started an apprenticeship since August last year. This adds to the 5,280 who were on an apprenticeship in 2010/2011, representing an increase of 58% on the previous year. In Westmorland & Lonsdale the apprenticeship figures have risen by 96%.

Commenting Mr Farron said: "This announcement is encouraging news for our local economy, but only tells half the story. The South Lakes has a large elderly population which isn't accounted for.

"Furthermore, although unemployment is low; wages are even lower as the South Lakes employs a higher percentage of seasonal workers than most other places in the region. This is why I am campaigning and doing all I can to bring well paid jobs and apprenticeships to our community."