Unemployment at an all time high with fewer jobs

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 September 2011




MORE people are becoming unemployed and there are fewer jobs around - that is the bleak outlook in the South West according to new statistics released this week.

The number of vacancies has dropped by seven per cent since this time last year, with North Somerset ranked as the worst area alongside South Gloucestershire and Poole.

In the past three months, 2,000 more people over the age of 16 in the South West have become unemployed as the national rate reached its highest level since 2009.

A spokesman for public sector trade union, Unison, said the situation is becoming desperate.

She said: “Unemployment is rising - youth and female unemployment stands at record levels. High female unemployment figures are in large part due to public sector job losses because the majority of public sector workers are women.”

She added that any job cuts by the council would have a detrimental impact on Weston and the surrounding area.

Nationally unemployment levels rose by 0.3 per cent between April and July this year and now means for every vacancy there are nearly six people unemployed.

Economist Tony Dolphin said the Office of National Statistics’ figures spell bad news both regionally and nationally.

He said: “The economic news has been deteriorating for some time and now the last bright spot – employment growth – has disappeared.”

The rise in unemployment has sparked an increase in the number claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) benefits. More than 1.58 million adults now claim – an increase for the sixth consecutive month.

And Mr Dolphin said the Government needed to do more to help people get back on their feet.

He said: “The Government should provide a guaranteed job, paid at the minimum wage or above, to anyone who has been unemployed and claiming JSA for more than 12 consecutive months.”

Weston mother Sara Gullick contacted the Mercury through our Facebook page and said the opportunities to get a first job were becoming more remote by the day.

She said: “My kids are 16 and 17 and have both had no luck finding work. They have applied to lots and lots of places and more often than not don’t even get a response.

“My daughter even walked round town taking CVs and letters into all the shops at the beginning of the summer - but again no responses.”

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