Impending crisis: TUC warns of youth unemployment

Wait on: Young people are set to lose out in the job market, warns the TUC
Wait on: Young people are set to lose out in the job market, warns the TUC

By Peter Wozniak

The austere economic climate could cause a drastic rise in youth unemployment, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has warned.

Citing figures from the International Labour Organisation, the TUC suggested "thousands of young people are being forced on the dole queue every day".

The union claimed 18 to 24 year-olds unemployed in the short term had increased by 43,000 between April and June.

Brendan Barber, the TUC's general secretary said: "While recent months have seen some welcome falls in overall unemployment levels, thousands of young workers across the UK are joining the dole queues every month and that is a real cause for concern.

"At the moment, it appears there are simply not enough jobs for young people to do. It is therefore particularly alarming that the government has cut funding for the Future Jobs Fund, which would have provided an additional 90,000 positions for unemployed young people across the country."

The figures also painted a grim picture of young people out of work for longer than a year, numbering 192,000 - the highest level since 1995.

Arguing that this represented an extremely fragile climate for young people, the union - unsurprisingly - castigated the impending austerity drive by the government as making a bad situation worse.

A combination of reported shrinking vacancies and increasing numbers of more experienced workers snapping up jobs normally taken by recent graduates and school leavers added to the woes of young people.

According to the TUC, there are now five unemployed people in the UK for every job vacancy.

The government is banking that the impending job losses in the public sector from the spending review will be largely compensated for by rapid growth in the private sector.

There is concern that even if private sector recovery is as strong as hoped for, young people are unlikely to benefit in a market flooded by unemployed public sector workers.

The Office of National Statistics is due to release updated employment figures tomorrow - which the union expects will confirm its' gloomy predictions.

Mr Barber added: "Tomorrow's figures will be a key indication of whether young people are facing a new jobs crisis.

"For every person struggling to get work, this recession remains a personal tragedy. And with the government pressing ahead with deep spending cuts which will choke off growth, unemployment is set to rise again."


Politics @ Lunch

Friday lunchtime. Your Inbox. It's a date.