Responding to today’s figures showing an increase in unemployment in the North East in the quarter to May, Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary said:
“It’s deeply worrying that unemployment is up again in the North East region. What is even more worrying is the government’s complacency over the region’s job situation. They need to take real action to get the North East back to work, give the region’s local authorities the powers they need to grow the economy and introduce Labour’s Compulsory Jobs Guarantee to get anyone unemployed for more than two years into a real paying job – one they would be required to take.
"Job creation is now so sluggish that pay-packets are getting hammered in the longest squeeze since the 1870s. Those in work are working harder and earning less - £1,350 a year less than they were in 2010 - in fact workers are earning today the same as they made in 2000. We are now creating jobs ten times more slowly than this time last year and there are more part-timers looking for full time work than ever before.
“Worse, it’s now clear the Government's so-called welfare revolution has collapsed.
“Three years into this Parliament, there are now more people across the country unemployed long term than at any time since 1996. No wonder George Osborne says the Work Programme is underperforming. The jury is in. The Government's welfare reform has failed. We have a 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.