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Unemployment in Worcestershire has soared since 1997, but the situation is most serious in the parliamentary constituency of Mid Worcestershire, which covers Droitwich Spa and Evesham.

Over the twelve years of the current government, nationally unemployment has gone up by 0.2%, while in Mid Worcestershire it has risen by a staggering 97.2%. Over the last year, the national rise is 85.9%, while for Mid Worcestershire the figure is twice that at 171.5%.

The MP for the area, Peter Luff, is seeking urgent explanations from business representatives, councils and the regional development agency for why things are so much worse locally so he can put forward action proposals to address what he described as “a local tragedy for hundreds of Worcestershire people.”

According to figures released this week, the number of claimants of Job Seekers’ Allowance in Mid Worcestershire has doubled since 1997 to over 2,000 people – 1,266 of them signing on in the past year alone. In the rest of Worcestershire, the figures are not quite so bad, but still bleak. Unemployment for the same period in neighbouring Worcester City and West Worcestershire rose by a half and a quarter respectively.

Commenting Peter said:

“I am truly alarmed by these figures which show that Worcestershire is one of the counties hardest hit by this recession. The rising rate of unemployment in Worcestershire is much, much greater than in the rest of the country, and especially so in Mid Worcestershire – and I want to know why. I have written urgently to Advantage West Midlands, the Chamber of Commerce and the local authorities asking if they can shed some light on why we are suffering so badly.

“My constituency is not in an area you would expect to be hit first or hardest by the recession – but the figures show it is, and we need to know why.

“If this recession continues to deepen, as we are warned it will, we must identify quickly why so many in Worcestershire are becoming unemployed, and make sure we do all we can to address the problems as soon as possible.”

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