TUC research highlights long-term effects of rising unemployment and exposes regional inequalities

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It could take nearly four years to get unemployment in Britain back down to its pre-recession level, according to new analysis released today by the TUC.

The study, which analyses the rate at which unemployment increased between January 2008 and July 2012 and the rate at it which decreased between January 2012 and July 2012, says that even if current trends continue it will take three years and nine months for Britain’s jobless total to fall to pre-crash levels.

The research shows that while there have been modest falls in unemployment in some parts of the country since the turn of the year, in other areas joblessness has continued to rise.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, the East of England and Scotland unemployment is still rising and is higher now than it was in January 2012, while in other areas it has fallen.

The TUC findings also reveal that even in parts of Britain where the jobs market has picked up, it is still likely to take years to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and government spending cuts.

In the West Midlands, for example, the unemployment rate shot up by three percentage points between January 2008 and January 2012 and has only fallen by a third (0.3) of a percentage point between January 2012 and July 2012.

The TUC says the research highlights the long-term effects of rising unemployment and exposes regional inequalities. It warns that unless unemployment falls across the country economic growth will not be spread equally.

Commenting on the study, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Although overall unemployment has fallen slightly in recent months in a number places there are parts of Britain where it is getting worse.

“The long-term damage inflicted by the crash and the government’s ongoing economic mismanagement means that even if current rates of progress continue, it will take years for some areas to get unemployment back down to pre-recession levels.

“Unless urgent steps are taken to rebalance the economy and get people back into work at a faster rate, the government will continue to lose out on billions in tax revenues as a result of unnecessarily high unemployment.”


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