STUC on Unemployment Statistics

August 12th 2009

Speaking after publication of the latest labour market statistics, Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary said:

“With unemployment reaching crisis levels, particularly amongst the young, talk of green shoots in the economy will be perceived as deliberate and cruel deception by the tens of thousands of Scottish people struggling to find a job. The Bank of England’s inflation report also published today confirms the STUC’s view that a sustainable, robust economic recovery is very far from imminent.

“ILO unemployment in Scotland has increased by 75,000 over the year to July; claimant count by 2,900 in the last month alone. These figures are stark. Obsessing about real or perceived differences in performance between Scotland and other parts of the UK is meaningless to those directly affected by unemployment.

“No-one could reasonably accuse either the UK or Scottish Governments of complacency in their respective responses to recession. However, these responses increasingly look insufficient to match the scale of the crisis.

“As a next step, the Scottish Government must introduce a short-term wage and training subsidy programme to help keep workers in jobs and retrain for the future. The UK Government must postpone its plans for cuts in public spending which would prove disastrous whilst the economy remains so fragile”.

ENDS

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