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Long-term unemployment hits 16 year high

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Published date:  12 Sep 2012

Youth unemployment rises for first time since Youth Contract introduced

Today’s unemployment figures show a welcome drop in overall unemployment, which has fallen by 7,000 but remains 2.59 million. Analysis by the think tank IPPR shows that there are still more than 1 million young people without a job.

The number of people out of work for more than a year is up by 22,000 to 904,000, more than a third of the total number of unemployed people, the worst since 1996. IPPR research has shown that the lingering effects of long-term unemployment can have a ‘scarring’ effect, making it more difficult to move into employment in the future.

The number of young people (16-24) has risen for the first time since the Government introduced the Youth Contract, raising questions about how effective the policy is being implemented. Youth unemployment remains over a million (1,017,000), up 7,000 since the last quarter and up 37,000 in the last year. A total of 266,000 young people have been unemployed for more than a year, a worrying increase of 31,000 over the last year and 23,000 over the last quarter.

The number of people working part-time but who say they want to work full time is at a new all time high of 1,424,000.

Tony Dolphin, IPPR Chief Economist, said:

“Today’s figures show further falls in unemployment and more people in work, which is good news. But with youth unemployment rising, questions will be asked about how effective the implementation of the government’s Youth Contract is proving.

“Despite improvements in the overall employment rate, long-term unemployment has hit a 16 year high remains a serious problem, with more than 900,000 people out of work for more than a year. The long-term unemployed should be offered a guaranteed job to make sure they don’t become permanently cut off from the jobs market.”

IPPR North analysis shows the number of unemployed people compared to a year ago is:

  • Yorkshire and Humber = 28,000 more people unemployed
  • North West = 27,000 more people unemployed
  • North East = 4,000 fewer people unemployed
  • South East = 24,000 more people unemployed
  • East Midlands = 6,000 more people unemployed
  • East of England = 4,000 more people unemployed
  • West Midlands =1,000 fewer people unemployed
  • London = 32,000 fewer people unemployed
  • South West = 24,000 fewer people unemployed
  • Wales = 9,000 more people unemployed
  • Scotland = 16,000 more people unemployed

Notes to editors:

Unemployment figures published today are available from: http://ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lms/labour-market-statistics/september-2012/index.html

IPPR North’s interim report of the Northern Economic Futures Commission is available from: http://ippr.org/publications/55/8992/northern-prosperity-is-national-prosperity-nefc-interim-report

IPPR’s report – Jobs for the Future: The path back to full employment in the UK - is available from http://www.ippr.org/publications/55/7938/jobs-for-the-future-the-path-back-to-full-employment-in-the-uk

IPPR’s report – A path back to growth – is available from: http://ippr.org/publication/55/9438/a-path-back-to-growth

Contact:

Richard Darlington, 07525 481 602, r.darlington@ippr.org