STUC on claimants to vacancy ratios, youth unemployment and underemployment

April 19th 2010

To coincide with the start of STUC Congress 2010 in Dundee, the (Scottish Trades Union Congress) STUC has today (Monday 16 April) published analysis of official data that challenges growing complacency over the state of the Scottish labour market:

• There are over 9 JSA claimants for every jobcentre advertised vacancy in Scotland – this rises to around 20 claimants for every vacancy in unemployment blackspots in Clackmannanshire, North Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire (see table 1);

• Youth unemployment has increased by 89% in Scotland over the 2 years to February 2010 – this rises to a startling 184% in East Lothian and to over 100% in another 11 local authority areas (see table 2);

• The rate of increase in youth unemployment slowed dramatically (from 89% to 16.8%) over the year to February 2010 – mirroring a general slowing of the increase in JSA from 93% (in the 2 years from Feb 2008) to 20.67% in the year to Feb 2010 (see table 1);

• The headline statistics do not tell the full story of what is happening in the Scottish labour market where underemployment continues to be a serious problem – the number of people working in part-time jobs when they wish to be working full-time rose by 20.8% in the year to July 2009; the number of people working in temporary jobs when they wish to have permanent positions rose by 11.8% over the same period (refer to note 6).

Commenting on the analysis, Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said:

“While the rate of decline in the labour market has slowed considerably, the challenges facing the Scottish labour market are acute. There can be little doubt that the strong action undertaken by Government at UK and Scottish level has prevented unemployment rising to match the fall in output during the recession.

“It is vital that government continues to invest in successful active labour market programmes while the economy and labour market remain so fragile. Cutting investment at this time will ensure the mistakes of past recessions are repeated; when individuals and communities were condemned to prolonged periods of economic inactivity.”

ENDS

To download the release complete with tables and notes plase follow this link

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