Stark truth behind jobless figures as Unite warns reco...

Stark truth behind jobless figures as Unite warns recovery passing people by

19 February 2014

Responding to today’s Labour market figures, the leader of Britain’s largest union, Unite warned of a ‘lost generation’ and ‘anaemic’ wage growth that was hitting ordinary families.

Len McCluskey Unite general secretary, said: “The small movement in the overall number of unemployed is welcome, but there can be no room for complacency from this government.

“We are still faced with a lost generation of lost hopes and lost potential with one in five 16-24 year olds still out of work. Behind the figures are hundreds of thousands of young people desperately looking to kick start their career and get a job. Like the 1,300 who last week applied in desperation for just six jobs making coffee or the many thousands who have graduated lumbered with horrendous debt, but simply cannot get that vital first job.

“And outside of London, our regions continue to be failed by the government economic policy – regions like the north east where unemployment is 10 per cent, hit hard by public sector cuts and with more to come.

“In real Britain, living standards continue to fall as wages remain anaemic and ordinary families struggle to get by. Work in this country simply does not pay for millions of people.  It is often insecure, low-waged with people being forced to work part-time when they urgently need a full-time wage.  For the first time we have more people in work in poverty than out; how can that be termed by any measure a success?

“If the prime minister really wants a ‘moral mission’ then he should use the power of government to create decent jobs, give the people of Britain a pay rise and restore hope where your government has generated despair.

“Without this, then thanks to David Cameron and George Osborne, the proceeds of any growth will continue to be funnelled in to the pockets of the wealthy as this unbalanced so-called recovery passes ordinary people by.”


For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1

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.