The March jobless figures can’t disguise the thrust of government policy for ‘a low waged and insecure employment’ economy, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 19 March).
Unite said that there are still two large pools of people without hope – young people and the long term jobless – which desperately needed help.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “While the drop in unemployment by 63,000 is to be welcomed, this can’t disguise the thrust of government policy which is towards a low waged economy where insecure employment is rampant.
“The recent announcement that the national minimum wage will rise by a derisory 19 pence an hour is an example of the continuing downward pressure on incomes, when the RPI rate of inflation is still running at 2.8 per cent. Wages are badly lagging behind inflation.
“Urgent measures are needed in today’s budget and in the coming months to tackle the two large pools of persistent unemployment – the young and the long term jobless - that continue to be a thorn in the side of the chancellor, George Osborne.
“We can’t tolerate an economic landscape that offers precious little hope of real jobs for our young people.
“Too much of what good economic news there has been is skewed towards London and the South East – for example, in the North East the unemployment rate is 9.5 per cent – when the national average is 7.2 per cent.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.