Long term unemployment remains stubbornly high


Long term unemployment remains stubbornly high in Birmingham and the government’s Work Programme is not lifting a finger to help.

The Labour Market Statistics for November 2012 were published yesterday.

Unemployment in the constituency has fallen slightly on last month – which is welcome news – but we must remember that 4,405 people in Northfield, including 1,320 young people, are still without a job. The rate of both unemployment and youth unemployment in Northfield is also almost twice the UK average.

Particularly worrying are the figures for those out of work for more than a year. Here in Northfield long term unemployment is still up 68% on the year. And for young people it is up a massive 140%.

But the government’s beleaguered Work Programme is failing to make a blind bit of difference – only 1.9% of people referred onto to the Work Programme have been placed into jobs in the Northfield constituency.

And with no strategy for growth, the government are failing to help create the jobs local people need. In November there were seven unemployed people for every job vacancy in Birmingham.

The government has got to wake up to this crisis, they must take action now and they should start with Labour’s Real Jobs Guarantee and get our young people back to work.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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