Saturday, October 15, 2011

Youth Unemployment in Kensington and Fairfield hits new highs

It's back to the bad old days I am afraid.

In 2010 10.9% of our young people in Kensington and Fairfield were unemployed, that was bad. But in 2011 it has risen by a third to 13.6% (that is Job Seekers Allowance Claimants in the age range 18-24). And it is 20% in Everton. 

And the situation around the whole country is dire, not just here, if you don't believe me, read that Labour loving, Liverpool supporting newspaper the Sun, who surely can be relied upon to provide figures in our favour.  Irony alert. Okay, what I really mean is this, if even the Sun is worried then surely the country really is going to hell in a hand cart. This is what they said (if you don't want to click on the link)

"It is the worst total since 1994, when Sir John Major was PM. Of particular concern is youth unemployment, which reached a record high of 991,000, up a staggering 74,000. It takes unemployment among the young to 21.3 per cent, the highest since comparable records began in 1992. The number of unemployed 16 to 17-year-olds rose 3,000 to 205,000. "

I remember in 1997 that the Labour Party made 5 pledges to the country. One of those was to rescue unemployed young people from the scrap heap.

We said

We will get 250,000 under-25 years-olds off benefit and into work by using money from a windfall levy on the privatised utilities
In 2007, ten years on, Channel4 reported that more than 250,000 young people passed through the New Deal, and subsequently found jobs. Although it did point out that in a growing economy with low unemployment, many would have found work anyway. They went on to say that Professor John Van Reenen had estimated that the 'value added' by the New Deal programme amounted to around 17,000 extra young people in work per year - a success, at reasonable cost, but perhaps falling slightly below the levels promised by the pledge. Channel4 gave it a 4 out of 5 score in terms of a pledge met.

Gordon Brown gave a personal and heart felt commitment to reducing youth unemployment as Labour took office in 1997 and he was broadly successful.

Sadly, in 2011 the progress he made has faltered and reversed.

By my reckoning, and you can work it out for yourselves if you care to, Yosser Hughes' three children would be pushing 40 by now. They will have been in work and doing okay, by and large, until lately, but their children - and Yosser's grandchildren - will likely now be those young people on the new Tory scrap heap. Was anything more depressing than that realisation?

It is hurting and it aint working and we sure as hell are not all in this together Mr Cameron!

Photo: Courtesy of the British Film Institute

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