STUC urges action on rising youth unemployment

October 12th 2009

Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) analysis of official government statistics released today shows that the number of young people (18-24) claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) has risen by 75% on average across Scotland since 2007. This rises to well over 100% in some local authority areas.

STUC General Secretary Grahame Smith said:

“These figures highlight the extent of growing youth unemployment in Scotland during the current recession. Whilst no local authority area has escaped, the massive rises in some already fragile regional economies is particularly worrying. It is absolutely crucial that government at all levels does everything in its power to prevent another generation being left on the scrapheap.

“The evidence is clear: extended periods of unemployment while young are hugely detrimental to a person’s future employment and health prospects. The current and future costs to society of dealing with these consequences of youth unemployment will be huge.

“Government must focus on maintaining demand within the economy to ensure that job opportunities are created for Scotland’s young people. Withdrawing stimulus measures and taking an axe to public spending before the economy recovers is a recipe for embedding long-term unemployment within this generation of young people.

“No-one can argue that the UK and Scottish administrations have not responded to the current recession but with youth unemployment rising so rapidly we have to question whether the response is sufficient. The Future Jobs Fund is a good start but the UK Government should examine how it might be extended to meet the level of demand. The Scottish Government should implement a short-term wage and training subsidy programme which will help both to keep young people in jobs and retain key skills within the economy”.

ENDS

For further information contact

Stephen Boyd 0141 337 8100

To download a copy of this release with the analysis table in pdf please click here

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