Figures released last week show that long-term unemployment has increased across the whole of Greater Manchester in the 12 months between March 2012 and March 2013.
Although the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) claims that the rise in long-term claimants can be partly attributed to changes in the way that claims are recorded, the figures – broken down to parliamentary constituency level – show that the number of people across the region claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA) for more than 12 months has increased by an average of almost 20 per cent.
The worst affected area was the metropolitan borough of Tameside*, where all three parliamentary constituencies saw a rise of more than 25 per cent in the number of people who are long-term unemployed.
In Ashton-under-Lyne long-term unemployment increased by 27 per cent, whilst in neighbouring Denton and Reddish the number of claimants rose by 30 per cent.
Andrew Gwynne MP for Denton and Reddish said:
“It is hugely disappointing that the three Tameside seats have had the largest increases in long term unemployment in the North West and it is becoming clear that the policies of this government are having a hugely negative impact.
“This Tory-led government needs to take immediate action and start helping now before they condemn a whole generation to joblessness.”
The third Tameside constituency of Stalybridge and Hyde saw the highest increase of all Greater Manchester constituencies, with the number of JSA claimants increasing by 31 per cent.
Tameside Councillor Claire Reynolds, who represents the Dukinfield/Stalybridge ward said:
“Stalybridge is home to a lot of public sector workers and those who work in traditional manufacturing industries, both of which have been badly hit by the government’s slash and burn approach to the economy.”
“Austerity alone isn’t working -we need to see real opportunities for growth. Tameside Council is doing all it can to stimulate the local economy, but there’s no denying that some local people are paying the price for the government’s failures.”
The figures also show that long-term youth unemployment in the region has increased by an average of 28.7 per cent.
Although some areas of Greater Manchester have reported a drop in the numbers of 18 – 24 year olds who have been out of work for more than 12 months, other constituencies have seen staggering increases.
In Blackley and Broughton in North Manchester the number of young people who are long term unemployment rose by 143 per cent.
Blackley and Broughton MP Graham Stringer also said:
“It is a shocking indictment on the government’s policies, they are intent on writing off a generation of young people. If young people cannot find jobs it has a lasting impact on their lifetime earnings.”
* The Denton and Reddish constituency also covers a part of the metropolitan borough of Stockport; Ashton-under-Lyne also covers a part of the metropolitan borough of Oldham.