Michael Dugher MP

Working hard for Barnsley East

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Michael calls for action to tackle stubbornly high long-term and youth unemployment in Barnsley

The latest unemployment figures show that the total number of people claiming Jobs Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) in Barnsley has fallen slightly from 7,535 in October 2012 to 7,465 in November 2012. This is welcome news, but it is still a lot higher than a year ago, when the total figure was 6,820. 

The big worry is still youth unemployment and long-term unemployment.  The figures for both of these remain stubbornly high.  Youth unemployment in Barnsley now stands at 2,410.  This is down on the previous month, but still higher than a year ago.  And over 500 (510) 18 to 24 year olds in Barnsley have been unemployed for more than twelve months – an increase of 93 per cent over the last year. 

In Michael’s Barnsley East constituency, the total number of people claiming JSA for more than 12 months is now 910, up from 585 a year ago.   And the number of 18-24 year olds that have been claiming JSA for more than a year now stands at 205 – an increase of 95 percent over the last year.  

Commenting on the new unemployment statistics, Michael said: 

“It is welcome news that the number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance has fallen across Barnsley, but there should be no complacency from Ministers.  Youth unemployment and long-term unemployment is still stubbornly high, demonstrating once again that the Government’s beleaguered Work Programme is failing to make a difference.  

“In Barnsley, the number of 18 to 24 year olds who have been unemployed for more than twelve months has increased by 93 per cent in the last year.  And in Barnsley East, the number of young people claiming Jobs Seeker's Allowance for more than a year has increased by 95 per cent in just 12 months.   

“The Government’s welfare to work programmes are clearly not working and it is time for Ministers to get a grip before a generation is left scarred by their failure.

“There are many things that Ministers could do to help, such as introducing a tax on bankers' bonuses to fund 100,000 youth jobs and a tax break for small firms taking on extra workers to help get Britain back to work.  They should also introduce a “Real Jobs Guarantee” scheme for young people, which would tackle the problem of long-term youth unemployment by providing a six-month paid placement, preferably in the private sector, for all 18-24 year olds who have been unemployed for more than twelve months.  Young people would have to take up the offered position.  This scheme would help 510 18-24 year olds in Barnsley alone.”

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