Unemployment figures: a day of misery

Liam Byrne MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said on today's unemployment figures:

"This is a day of misery on Britain’s jobs front. Today we have the clearest and starkest evidence yet that the Government’s plan for growth is hurting not helping Britain. Our unemployment is now climbing faster than the Eurozone, Japan and America and we are now losing three times more jobs than we are creating.

“The rise in those without jobs is the highest for two years. The number of young people out of work has surged up by 78,000 and it is women who are now being punished worst.

“Today’s figures show Britain’s women are bearing the brunt of redundancies. Women’s unemployment is now the highest for 23 years.  In a year when the Government has cut support for childcare, 32,000 women have chosen to give up on work. That alone has cost us nearly £50 million in lost tax revenue.

“Over a year and a half after the recession ending and with unemployment rising this fast, the deficit is getting harder than ever to pay down. This fast rising unemployment is helping push the benefits bill up by £12 billion, that’s £500 per household.

“Today we need far more than warm words from Nick Clegg. We need a sensible tax on bankers’ bonuses to help create jobs for young people – and a halt to this unthinking attack on Britain's childcare. Millions of Britain’s parents feeling the squeeze desperately want to work – but literally can’t afford to without help with childcare.”

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Editor's notes

1. Research commissioned by the office of Liam Byrne from the House of Commons Library shows the cost to the exchequer of 32,000 women giving up work, identified in a recent Aviva report on family finances, is nearly £50 million.