Jobless rise prompts manufacturing strategy call as ec...

Jobless rise prompts manufacturing strategy call as economy remains ‘in a rut’

20 April 2016

The British economy remains ‘in a rut’ with key groups, such as young people and the self-employed losing out as unemployment rises, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 20 April).

The union said the real issue was chancellor George Osborne’s economic  plan, based on the so-called ‘march of the makers’, is in tatters and the economy has been stuck in a rut for over a year.

Unite also pointed to the estimated five million workers now categorised as self-employed as further evidence of the job insecurity that has become rampant as a result of six years of austerity.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The disappointing rise in the jobless figures shows that key sections of the population are being hit when it comes to jobs, particularly young people whose jobless rate remains stubbornly high at 627,000.

“George Osborne has spent far too much time molly-coddling the one per cent of the rich and wealthy living in a Downton Abbey time warp and not enough on the 99 per cent of the population trying to make ends meet and paying their taxes on time.

“Yet there is a growth figure that we can absolutely attribute to this chancellor and that is that one in six workers - 15 per cent  - is now defined as self-employed. 

“Staggering numbers of the workforce now have no rights and no stable income.  Millions now live in a situation of horrendous insecurity, which has become rampant under this government.

“The chancellor’s much-vaunted march of the makers has ground to an embarrassing halt as the economy stumbles along - in last month’s budget the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) had to revise down growth forecasts again.

“What we need is a sustained programme of public-led investment, such as council house building and transport projects and other key infrastructure.

“This goes hand in hand with a coherent strategy to support our manufacturing and steel sectors.” 


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: 

  • 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.