Job Centre PlusCommenting on the latest unemployment statistics, Bridget Phillipson MP said:

“These figures will only confirm what families in Houghton and Sunderland South, already know -; we are facing an unemployment emergency.

“2,772 local people are chasing every job and long term youth unemployment is up 139.3% since the start of the year. While unemployment is currently a universal problem, it is disproportionatelyaffecting young people, which will cause irreparable damage to their future career prospects. The over 50s are suffering too with 60 more people out of work for over six months (up 52%) since January 2011.

“Complacent and out of touch Ministers need to wake up to the jobs crisis they’re responsible for and take urgent action now.”

Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne said:

“Unemployment has now soared to highest level for a generation and long term youth unemployment has more than doubled since January last year. In America, Germany and Japan unemployment is either flat or falling. This is new proof that the Government must change course.

“The Government’s welfare to work programmes are now clearly failing and the welfare bill is going through the roof.

“Tax rises and spending cuts that go too far and too fast have choked off the recovery and backfired. The Government is now set to borrow £158 billion more than planned -; more than £6,500 for every household in the country. This isn’t borrowing to support the economy through difficult times, but a huge new bill for failure.

“The Government must change course and adopt Labour’s five point plan for jobs, including a tax on bankers’ bonuses to fund 100,000 jobs for young people and a temporary VAT cut to help people struggling with rising prices and kick-start the economy.”

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