UNISON boss slams government’s reckless anti-growth, no-hope, cuts strategy

Tim Lezard

jobsNew analysis by UNISON shows that on average there are almost four people chasing every vacant job in England, Scotland and Wales.

Some areas are far harder hit. In 113 local authorities there are five or more jobseekers for every job vacancy. In 26 of those 113 local authorities there are more than ten jobseekers chasing each vacancy.

London is one of the worst hit regions. In nearly a third of London’s 32 boroughs, there are more than 10 unemployed people pursuing every job. In Hackney there are more than 20 claimants for every vacant job.

More than 500,000 public sector jobs have gone since the coalition came to power, and experts predict that the toll could reach 1.2 million by 2016/17.

The number of people claiming JSA is less than the total number of unemployed in each local authority area – making the pressure on available jobs even greater.

The research exposes the damaging scale of the jobs crisis and the urgent need for a bold strategy for growth and jobs in next week’s Budget.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The scale of the ongoing jobs crisis is deeply worrying. Three long years of cuts – with more to come – and still there are not enough jobs to go around. The government has got it wrong on the recession and it has sacrificed our recovery. As well as laying waste to our public services, cuts have a stranglehold on the private sector.

“The government does have a choice. Use the budget to outline a bold strategy for jobs and growth. Make people feel secure in their jobs and they are more likely to spend. Give public sector workers a decent pay rise and more money will flow through tills in local shops and businesses, helping our beleaguered high streets.

“The most damaging thing the government could do is to plough on regardless with its reckless anti-growth, no-hope, cuts strategy.”

Key findings:

In 26 local authorities, more than ten or more Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) claimants are chasing every vacant job.

In another 87 local authority areas there are between five and ten unemployed people chasing every job vacancy.

In a further 108 local authority areas there are 3 or more but less than five JSA claimants for every unfilled vacancy.

In 10 of London’s 32 boroughs there are more than 10 people chasing every vacancy.

In every local authority in the North East there are more than five people chasing every job vacancy.

The hardest hit area is the Isle of Wight where for every vacancy there are 23.7 people on Job Seekers Allowance.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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