The number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance for over 12 months has increased dramatically in Scotland since the labour market peaked in early 2008.
Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) analysis of official statistics looked at the number of people claiming JSA for over 12 months in January 2008; the month in which the number of JSA claimants in Scotland was at its pre-recession lowest. It then looks at similar statistics for July 2010 and the percentage increase in Scottish local authority areas.
The analysis confirms a rise in long-term unemployment of 132% across Scotland; rising to over 400% in 3 local authority areas. The steepest rises were found in the Borders (475%), East Lothian (420%), South Lanarkshire (416%), North Lanarkshire (324%), West Lothian (286%) and East Renfrewshire (260%). Even the best performing areas such as Orkney (33%), Moray (35%) and Inverclyde (36%) registered significant increases.
Edinburgh (185%), Glasgow (111%) and Aberdeen (90%) registered steep rises whilst Dundee fared comparatively better albeit with a significant rise of 49%.
Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said:
“These figures are shocking. The massive rise in long-term unemployment we reveal today provides a sharp and timely rejoinder to those still arguing that the labour market has performed well over the recession.
“An abundance of evidence confirms that long-term unemployment is an individual and family tragedy and a huge economic and social cost to society. With unemployment, long-term unemployment and long-term youth unemployment all continuing to rise in Scotland, it is essential that Government at all levels redoubles its efforts to keep people in work and provide effective support to the workless.
“And yet the coalition government is embarking on a cuts strategy that will undoubtedly increase unemployment. The impact of their spending cuts will fall most heavily on the unemployed. The number of prominent commentators questioning the need for immediate and deep cuts is growing on a daily basis. If the coalition continues with its cuts agenda people will rightly conclude that it is ideology not economics that is driving policy”.
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