Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, hit out at what he said was a “deepening depression” affecting the North East as new unemployment figures were made public today (July 18th 2012).
“Whilst the coalition might trumpet the so-called fall in joblessness in the UK, they cannot hide the small print which shows that things in areas like ours are still dire. The national figures are bad enough, showing an increase in the claimant count – the number of people who are signing on – and hikes in unemployment for women but it is the impact on the North East – the heart of British manufacturing – that both frightens and appals me.
“The report from respected think tank, the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) shows that joblessness has risen by 97,000 in the North of England. The North East experience is shared by the West Midlands, showing that manufacturing regions are bearing the brunt of recession. Long-term unemployment continues to rise, with the number of people out of work for 12 months or more at a 16 year high, of 886,000.
“The really bad news is that the number of people unemployed long-term is continuing to rise, with more people out of work for more than a year than at any time since the mid-1990s. Long-term unemployment can result in a ‘scarring’ effect, with people out of work for more than a year unable to secure future employment – and that is not good news for the North East especially.”