Diane Abbott warns of 'ticking youth unemployment time bomb'

18 Apr 2012
Unemployment figures released today show the rate of unemployment is 8.3 percent, down from 8.4 percent in the previous quarter.

The Office for National Statistics said unemployment on the government's preferred International Labour Organisation measure declined by 35,000 in the three months to March to 2.65 million.

However, the long-term youth claimant count is at 163,300. This is the highest since April 1997 when it was at 174,300. Since March 2011 it is up 87,500 – a rise of 115 percent.

In Hackney North and Stoke Newington, the long-term young claimant count has gone up from 35 in March 2011 to 110 in March 2012, a rise of 214%. In Hackney South and Shoreditch, the long-term youth claimant count has gone up from 50 in March 2011 to 200 in March 2012, an increase of 300%.

Commenting on today’s unemployment statistics, Diane Abbott MP said Hackney desperately need action on long term youth unemployment:

‘We've had two years of excuses and now we've got the evidence – this Government has utterly failed to tackle Britain’s jobs emergency, and we are limping along in crisis. Hackney is paying the price and young people in Hackney are tired of excuses, they need action on jobs, now.

‘The number of young people out of work for a year in Hackney North and Stoke Newington is up 214% in the last year, yet these complacent ministers refuse to take the decisive action they need to get young people off benefits and into work.

‘Here in Hackney 110 youngsters would be helped into work if this government brought in Labour’s Real Jobs Guarantee. Ministers should stop tinkering around the edges and bring in Labour’s plan, which would use a tax on bankers bonuses to get 110,000 young people across the country into work, into real jobs they would be required to take.’

‘The number of people signing on is going up, we still have more than a million young people out of work, more women unemployed than since 1987 and a benefits bill that is spiralling by the day

‘Last month’s budget should have taken big and bold action to get Britain back to work. Instead we got a hand-out for millionaires, and a slap down for anyone on tax credits.

‘By recklessly raising taxes and cutting spending too far and too fast, this Government choked off the recovery, pushing up borrowing by £150 billion and leaving unemployment continuing to soar.’


1) The figures for JSA claimants aged 18-24 claiming for 12 months and over are ONS va NOMIS, not seasonally adjusted, data rounded to nearest 5

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