British govt. welfare revolution collapses; long-term joblessness at 17-year high
Fresh figures show long-term unemployment in Britain is now at its highest level in almost two decades, with around 915,000 Britons been unemployed for a year or more, media reports said.
The number is up 32,000 as compared with the previous year, making it the highest number of long-term jobless since 1996.
This is while that over half of these, or 474,000 have been out of work for at least two years.
“It’s now clear the government’s so-called welfare revolution has collapsed. Three years into this Parliament, there are now more people unemployed long term than at any time since 1996”, said Liam Byrne MP, shadow work and pensions secretary.
“No wonder George Osborne says the Work Programme is underperforming. The jury is in. The government’s welfare reform has failed. We have nearly a million young people out of work and nearly a million people locked out of work long term – half of those for two years or more”, he added.
Some 87,000 more 16-64-year-olds are economically inactive – meaning they are not in work and have not actively looked for a job in the last month, taking the total to more than 9 million.
Overall, however, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen by 72,000 in the last year, to 2.51 m. The total number of people claiming the benefit is now lower than in May 2010.
There were 29.71 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 336,000 from last year. This was accompanied by a fall in unemployment of 57,000 on the quarter – a figure which included 20,000 fewer unemployed young people.