STUC on the state of the Scottish Labour market

February 15th 2011

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On the day that new unemployment statistics are published the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) is once again highlighting the worrying state of the Scottish labour market:

• Long-term unemployment - people claiming JSA for over 6 months - is continuing to increase, albeit much more slowly, despite the recession technically ending over a year ago. The increase over the past year was 1.6% but currently over 43,000 people are claiming JSA for over 6 months; a 128% increase on pre-recession levels;

• The number of people claiming JSA for over 12 months has increased by 19% over the last year and by 124% since the start of the recession. Over the last year, ten areas have seen an increase of over 30% and only 6 areas have seen a decrease; East Renfrewshire, Midlothian and Perth and Kinross have registered increases of over 50%; Glasgow City registered an increase of 42% and Edinburgh 29%;

• The number of over 25 year olds claiming JSA for over 2 years has more than doubled in the last year; only one LA area, Inverclyde, has registered a fall; ten areas have registered increases of over 200%. These include Glasgow where 845 (an 81% increase) more individuals have now been claiming JSA for over 2 years;

• There is currently one Job Centre Plus notified vacancy for every 7.5 JSA claimants in Scotland; in North Ayrshire and East Dunbartonshire the ratio is 27:1 and in East Ayrshire 20:1; and,

• The number of people aged under 24 and claiming JSA for over a year has increased by a third over the past year and quadrupled over the course of the recession.

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary said:

“High and persistent long-term unemployment in Scotland is the inevitable consequence of a long and deep recession, a fragile, jobless recovery and a policy framework which is manifestly failing to support employment growth.

“The prospects for the labour market in 2011 are dire. Job losses as a result of the coalition’s spending cuts will start in earnest from April. Demand will remain extremely weak as workers across the economy experience significant real terms pay cuts. Private sector investment remains far below levels anticipated by the Government and OBR. There is no prospect of stimulus through fiscal policy or, with inflation high relative to target, monetary policy.

“It is not too late for the Chancellor to revisit his economic strategy in the March Budget. As things stand, the mistakes of recessions past are being repeated. The legacy of persistently high, long-term unemployment will burden Scotland with massive social and economic costs for decades to come”.

ENDS

For further information contact

Stephen Boyd 0141 337 8100

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