Commenting on the latest unemployment figures released today (20th February 2013), Tom Blenkinsop, Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, suggested that national headlines of falling unemployment do not reflect what is happening in his constituency as unemployment goes up again.
“Yet again, these figures show that unemployment is up in my constituency from the previous month. Similarly unemployment is up in the neighbouring constituencies of Redcar and Stockton South – most striking here is the level of 18 to 24 year old claimants for 6 months or more which is up almost 70% since the General Election in 2010. Despite this, the North East remains amongst the hardest hit by Government cuts.
“On top of this is a report detailing child poverty across the UK, with Middlesbrough ranked the 3rd worst – 37% of children are living in poverty. You can begin to understand why this is a problem that is only getting worse when you look beyond the headline employment figures you can see how even those people who are in work are struggling to balance family budgets as they have taken an average £1,200 pay cut since the election.
“Next month’s Budget is an opportunity for the Government to change course and address the crisis we face. That’s why Labour is demanding the Government introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee to get anyone out of work for more than two years straight into a job.”