“Bad news before Christmas”: John speaks out against worrying trends in unemployment

John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, has responded to today’s worrying unemployment figures.

Youth unemployment is now at its highest point since records began and continues to rise, the number of job vacancies is falling and the private sector is not picking up where the public sector is suffering.  The annual increase in unemployed young people in Mr Denham’s constituency has risen by over 30% and there are 3 people chasing every job available.

In John’s Southampton Itchen constituency:

  • The number of unemployed claimants in Southampton, Itchen constituency in November 2011 was 2,575.
  • This represents a rate of 5.0% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, the 316th highest of the 650 UK constituencies.
  • The number of claimants is 400 higher than in November 2010 and the same as in October 2011.

In the South East region as a whole:

  • Employment has fallen by 4,000 on the previous quarter
  • Unemployment has increased by 16,000 on the previous quarter and currently stands at 272,000
  • The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen on the previous month

The benefits bill is now forecast to increase by an incredible £29 billion compared to what the Tory-led Government was expecting this time last year, at a cost of over £1000 per household.

In the last quarter for every 13 jobs lost in the public sector, just one was created in the private sector.  During PMQs today, the Prime Minister failed to apologise for his failure to create more jobs in the private sector over the last 12 months, which he had previously promised to do.

John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, said:

“This is yet more bad news just before Christmas and it shows a worrying downward trend in employment figures.  To be blunt, there are fewer people in jobs and there are fewer jobs available.  In my own constituency, there are three people chasing every job vacancy. The economy is going nowhere, more people are having to go on benefits and the Government is borrowing more money (not less).

“We need to see more getting done to help young people back into work.  Preferably what I want to see is a £2million tax on bankers’ bonuses to fund 5,000 more jobs for young people in the South East.  That’s one quick and straightforward way to help boost our economy here in Southampton, but the Tories won’t go through with it.

“It’s now clear the Tory-led Government’s experiment on our economy has completely failed.”

Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary said:

“The government has well and truly clobbered the recovery and now more families face Christmas without a job than at any time since the early 1990s. As every month passes, it is getting clearer and clearer that the government’s welfare to work programmes are simply failing. The lowest amount of people are coming off benefits and into work than at any time since 1998.

“The result is now a soaring welfare bill that is creating an almighty hangover for Britain to deal with. The government is now set to borrow £158 billion more than planned – more than £6,500 for every household in the country. This isn’t borrowing to support the economy through difficult times, but a huge new bill for failure.

“In the last quarter, for every 13 jobs lost in the public sector, just one was created in the private sector. Quite simply we’re losing jobs faster than we’re creating them.”

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