Durham top in young jobless

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YOUTH unemployment in the North East is highest in Durham, new figures say

Using the latest jobless figures from the Office of National Statistics, the GMB compiled a list to show how many people aged 18-24 were on jobseeker’s allowance, based on the figures from December 2010.

Durham had 4,395 people in the age group claiming – which is 35 per cent of its overall total – and Sunderland, in second place, had 2,945, which is 32.1 per cent of its total.

The 12 areas of the North East showed a total of 24,215 young people claiming benefit – 30.8 per cent of the total.

The region as a whole came an unwanted second top in a UK league of 12 areas, with Wales first and London 12th.

GMB regional secretary in the northern region Tom Brennan condemned the Coalition Government for the figures and said the coalition was making the situation worse with local authority cuts.

He said: “In the North East there are nearly 25,000 young workers aged 18-24 claiming jobseeker’s allowance. When you add to that number the rest of the young people not in jobs but seeking work the real number is more than double that figure. In the UK as a whole the number of young workers aged under 24 seeking work is nearly a million.

“Young workers are the real economic victims of this bankers’ recession. The Government is in denial that it is deliberately creating unemployment.

“This week GMB listed that 9,164 posts are under threat in the North East’s local authorities and these posts are being deleted by vacancies not being filled and by voluntary redundancy.

“GMB is mobilising to get a large contingent of young workers from the North East to the TUC demonstration in London on March 26. GMB is also mobilising to get a high turnout at the local elections in May to send a clear message to the government that it is not possible to deflate your way to growth and a balanced budget.”

The leader of Sunderland’s Conservatives, Coun Tony Morrissey, said he was worried that the league tables were manipulated “to give a horror figure”.

He said: “If we have a high rate of youth unemployment, that’s been the case for years. Only a small percentage people in Sunderland have been given a university education.

“We are paying for the spendthrift attitude of the Labour years.”