Escalating number of long-term unemployed young people in Plymouth
ESCALATING numbers of youngsters on the dole for more than a year in Plymouth have fuelled accusations that a flagship project to get the long-term jobless into work is failing.
It came as latest figures revealed an 84 per cent hike in claimants aged 24 and under who have been receiving jobless benefit for more than 12 months.
The number in that age range getting Jobseekers Allowance long-term had gone up from 225 in January to 415 last month.
Cornwall had also seen a similar rise over the period, from 260 to 430, although in the South Hams it had been more constant hovering at a monthly average of around 20.
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The overall number of people in Plymouth signing on for more than 12 months has also risen from 1,120 at the start of the year to 1,750 in August.
In Cornwall it increased from 1,435 to 2,005, while in South Hams it stayed at around 130.
It comes as data from the Office for National Statistics shows Plymouth's jobless total fell slightly last month.
The number of unemployment claimants in the city dropped to 6,490 in August – down just 24 on July.
Unemployment across the South West fell by 9,000 in the quarter to July, to 153,000, giving a jobless rate of 5.7 per cent – the lowest in the UK.
And nationally, those out of work fell by 7,000 in the quarter to July, to 2.59million, an unemployment rate of 8.1 per cent. But during Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, Labour leader Ed Miliband pointed out the number of people who had been out of work for more than a year was now 904,000 – "its highest level for 17 years". Mr Cameron admitted there were "disturbing" figures on long-term unemployment but the Work Programme was designed to tackle it.
But Mr Miliband also said there had also been a 247 per cent rise over 12 months in the number of young people on the dole for more than a year. He claimed it was "the clearest evidence so far that the Work Programme isn't working".