ALMOST one in 10 people in Blackpool South are out of work according to new employment figures.
The constituency now has the 79th worst employment statistics in the country, with 2,323 Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants – 501 more than the same time last year.
The statistics came to light as the Government announced its latest unemployment figures – which revealed that more than one million 16 to 24-year-olds are now out of work.
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden today slammed the Government for failing his constituents – and said the figures were only the tip of the iceberg.
Mr Marsden said: “The biggest test of the figures will be when we get those just before Christmas relating to November when the season finished and those temporarily employed came out of work.
“The figures are extremely depressing and they don’t reveal anything about under-employment – those who used to have two to three part-time jobs who now only have one or two which I am told about.”
Shadow apprentice minister Mr Marsden said the Government needed to do a lot more than it was to get young people into work.
He added: “The number of people taking apprenticeships up is very low and they’re not doing anything to help small businesses with 100 to 249 employees take more on.
“A National Insurance holiday would do much more to help young people across the country.”
The unemployment figures for the whole Fylde coast showed a small rise on last month, but with very different results in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.
Fylde has 919 claimants, a rate of two per cent, of which 255 are aged 16 to 24 (five per cent for the age group).
Wyre has 1,599 claimants, a rate of 2.4 per cent, of which 525 are aged 16 to 24 (6.2 per cent for the age group).
Blackpool has 5,423 claimants, a rate of 6.2 per cent, of which 1,470 are aged 16 to 24 (11.6 per cent for the age group).
Nationally, the claimant count rose 5,000 in October to 1.6m.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: “These figures show just how much our economy is being affected by the crisis in the Eurozone. Our European partners must take urgent action to stabilise the position.
“Our challenge will be to put in place additional measures to support growth and create employment opportunities, especially for young people.”
Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard said the figures were worrying but blamed it on the global economic crisis rather than unemployment being a home-grown problem.
He added: “It’s a matter of concern and the figures reflect the global economic situation – the impact it’s having on real people on the Fylde coast.
“In recent weeks we’ve announced that apprenticeships have trebled on the Fylde coast and that’s part of a long-term strategy.”
Unison, the UK’s largest union, said the figures were a ‘betrayal’ of young people.
General secretary Dave Prentis said: “Their futures are being gambled away by massive cutbacks.”