The long-term unemployed – those out of work for more than 12 months – are the continuing victims behind the latest jobless figures, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 17 October).
Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey said that there was no room for complacency in the latest employment figures which saw the headline jobless figure drop by 50,000 to 2.53 million.
Len McCluskey said: “Hidden behind the statistics is the stubborn underlying problem of the long-term unemployed, whether it is the 16-to-24 year olds or other groups seeking work. It is those areas that ministers need to concentrate on as a matter of urgency.
“The economy overall is flatlining, household incomes are being squeezed and demand has been sucked out of the economy.
“The UK is still in recession, so there is nothing for the government to crow about.
“The Joseph Rowntree Foundation reports that up to 66 people are chasing every retail job and last week when car giant JLR offered 1,200 jobs, 20,000 people went for them – this means that there is hardly a jobs’ Eldorado out there.
“Significantly, 1.4 million people are in part-time jobs because they could not find full-time work, and this is close to a record high. People want to work more, but the jobs are not there.
“The government can’t expect London and the south east region to power house the economy and there needs to be a strategy to recalibrate away from the City and service industries.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.