Unemployment is higher than it was at the time of the election, and rising. Unemployment increased by 7,000 on the quarter to 2.5 million in the latest data, and is 45,000 higher than at the time of the election. Youth unemployment increased to nearly a million; youth unemployment increased by 48,000 to 993,000.
Long-term youth unemployment is at its highest level since October 1993, and research by the House of Commons Library shows that wages are on average £1,200 lower than in May 2010, in real terms.
In the North West, unemployment increased by 3,000 on the previous quarter and currently stands at 301,000.
Andrew Gwynne MP, responding to today’s Labour Market Statistics, said:
“Today’s unemployment figures are a damning indictment of the Chancellor’s failure to get the economy under control. Unemployment in Denton and Reddish has increased in the last year, and today’s research shows what everybody knew; everybody is officially worse off than when the Government took over in 2010.
“This downgraded Chancellor needs to sort out his downgraded Budget. People in Denton and Reddish want to get back into work, not be hit by his wretched Bedroom Tax which will take money out of the pockets of hundreds of people in our area.”
Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said:
“Budget day begins with a clear sign that George Osborne has failed.
“Half way through the Parliament, Britain is still being scarred by rising unemployment and it is our next generation that is paying a brutal price. Today, youth unemployment has soared back up towards the million mark, overall unemployment is up and unemployment amongst women is up yet again.
“If the Chancellor needs any more evidence for why he should change course he should look no further than today’s figures which show the massive hit working families are now taking. Families in Britain have taken a £1,200 a year pay cut and that’s why we need real action to kickstart our flatlining economy and help families on middle and low income, not a tax cut for millionaires and more of the same failing policies.”