Jobless figures mask two economic nations, says Unite

Jobless figures mask two economic nations, says Unite

11 September 2013

The latest jobless figures reveal that there are two ‘economic nations’ in a divided Britain, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Wednesday, 11 September).

While welcoming today’s drop of 24,000 in the number of unemployed, Unite said that the rises in the long-term unemployed; youth unemployment; and those working part-time, but seeking full-time positions were ‘stubbornly high and highlighted the deep flaws in the government’s economic policies”.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “While we welcome the fall in the jobless total this month, these headline figures show serious and alarming trends in the long-term jobless and youth unemployment. It masks the reality of two economic nations in a divided Britain.

“These are issues that George Osborne doggedly refuses to address and shows ministerial complacency to a shocking level – there are still 2.4 million unemployed. Measures need to be brought forward to tackle these stubbornly high trends that disfigure the employment statistics.

“We are living in a divided Britain scarred by a zero hours contract culture; falling living standards in real terms; the longest wage squeeze since the 1870s; and people in part-time work wanting full time jobs.

“David Cameron and his smug chancellor have created two economic nations, where the rich get richer on the backs of millions of working people who face an insecure employment future – or no future at all.

“Underneath the headline figures, in the North East and West Midlands we still have unemployment rates of 10.4 per cent and 9.8 per cent - and in the North West 13,000 job losses are recorded in the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics compared to the last quarter.”

The long term jobless figure for those out of work for two years or more rose from 458,000 (February - April) to 469,000 (May-July); the figure for those out of work for over 12 months rose by 1,000 to 899,000 in the same period.

Youth unemployment for those aged 16-to-24 increased from 951,000 (February –April) to 960,000 (May-July). Those in part time employment, but seeking full time work went up to 1,447,000 from 1,422,000 over the same period.


For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940.

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.