Workers' Party Youth representative, Chris Bailey, has condemned figures released today which show that one in five young people aged between 18 and 24 who are looking for work are now unemployed. Figures from the monthly Labour Market Survey show that the unemployment rate for 18-24 year olds stands at 20.3% – up 5.9 percent over the year. "This represents a failure on the part of our society to give young people the jobs and prospects they deserve. It is unfortunate that so many of young people claim to be turned off by politics. We should be out on the streets in our tens of thousands and knocking on the doors at Stormont demanding a better future, Mr Bailey said."
"Official unemployment has reached its highest rate in 13 years" Mr Bailey continued. "Overall, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit last month reached 59,000. Preliminary figures suggest that 47.2% of the unemployed have been unemployed for 1 year or more – up by nearly 6 percent over the year. As well as the officially unemployed, figures show that while 90% of the so-called 'economically inactive' - students, sick people, disabled people, home keepers etc - do not want work, the remaining10% (54,000) want employment but do not fit the official criteria. This brings the real-world unemployment figure to 113,000 people and the real-world youth unemployment figure must be at least 35%. All of this this is before the cuts to social services and the Stormont attacks on working people set in. It's time for all people, young and old, affected by this terrible jobs crisis to stand up and be counted", Mr Bailey concluded.
Issued: 13th April 2011