Socialist Party
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17 May 2012

Work programme not reducing long-term unemployment

Unemployment statistics published yesterday show that the number of people who have been unemployed for more than one year is up 27,000 in the last three months, reaching a total of 887,000. The number unemployed for more than two years is 428,000, up 5,000.

'Back to work' schemes contracted out under the 'work programme' to companies such as A4e - which, despite being stripped of one this week, still holds government welfare contracts worth tens of millions of pounds - are supposed to help people who have been out of work for long periods.

The figures also reveal that there are almost six unemployed people for every job vacancy in our economy. The number of vacancies fell by 7,000 to 457,000 in the three months to April.

While employment in general increased, the number in full-time employment fell by 13,000 to 21 million.

The number who work part-time but want full-time work was up 44,000 in the last three months to 1.3 million - a 149,000 increase since last year.

There are also 590,000 people doing temporary work who want a permanent job, up 10,000 in the last quarter.

From a PCS press release