Thursday, 14 August 2014

Local unemployment continues to rise

Labour MP Katy Clark has criticised the UK Tory-Lib Dem Government after new figures showed unemployment in North Ayrshire is continuing to rise.

Despite her party being in partnership with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in the British Unionist campaign to keep Scotland governed from Westminster, Ms Clark condemned UK policies that have resulted in unemployment rising while wages fall.

Labour Market Statistics, published this week, reveal unemployment in North Ayrshire & Arran increased from 2,805 to 2,841, with a 10% rise in youth unemployment - 730 people in the local area under the age of 24 are now claiming Jobseekers Allowance.

The new stats also show average wages across the UK only increased by 0.6% to 1.9% in the year to June, well below the 2.6% rate of inflation.  The rise in wages is the smallest since records began.

Katy Clark said, “The latest unemployment figures are a cause for local concern.  They show that North Ayrshire and Arran remains one of the 10-percent of constituencies with the highest unemployment rates in the United Kingdom.

“The Prime Minister is keen to talk about the economic recovery but these statistics show that it has yet to reach many parts of the country.  The reality remains that for many hundreds of people in North Ayrshire there simply are not employment opportunities available for them.

“The figures also demonstrate that yet again wages continue to lag behind prices for those in work. This Government has had over four years now to help working people, the fact that wages continue to fall in real terms shows just how much they have failed to do so.  We urgently need a Government that will take the measures, such as significantly increasing the minimum wage and freezing energy prices, that are necessary to end the cost of living crisis.”

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