Monday, 24 January 2011

The grim and largely untold story of the Scottish labour market

Further to Helen Martin's post earlier today on youth unemployment, I thought it might be helpful to highlight some other worrying trends in the Scottish labour market.

Coverage of the latest ONS statistics published on January 19th focused on the welcome but slight fall in ILO unemployment of 5000 over the quarter to November 2010:from 230,000 to 225,000. However, this fall, which we believe will not be sustained as the cuts kick in, masks a number of worrying trends:

  • The claimant count rose for the third month in a row;
  • The fall in manufacturing employment continues: 19,000 more jobs were lost in the year to September 2010 with 37,000 jobs lost since the start of the recession;
  • ‘Under-employment’ continues to rise and will act to severely constrain jobs growth if and when a recovery becomes embedded: the number of people working in part-time jobs because they have been unable to find full-time positions rose by 38% in the year to March 2010 (and by 50% since the start of the recession); the number of people working in temporary positions because they were unable to find permanent jobs rose by 23% over the same period;
  • The number of people claiming JSA for over 24 months increased by 114% in the year to December 2010;
  • The number of people claiming JSA for over 12 months showed a slight fall on the year to December but remains double its pre-recession level; and,
  • Perhaps most worryingly of all, the unemployment rate for 18-24 year olds was 17.9% for Scotland for the three months to September 2010.
...and to deal with this grim situation the Government proposes to do what? Implement immediate and deep cuts in public spending which will lead directly to around 100,000 job losses in Scotland...

Stephen Boyd - STUC

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