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15 October 2012, 08:05
New stats from the TUC show youth unemployment in the North East's up by almost 4,000 since the coalition government came in.
The stats show there were 27,622 young people out of work in 2012 in the region, compared to 23,661 two years ago - an increase of 17%.
Long-term youth unemployment in England as a whole's up by almost a quarter since 2010.
The North West is the worst hit region with a 53% increase (26,000 youngsters) in the number of 16-24 year-olds out of work for six months or longer, followed by the East of England (40 per cent) and Yorkshire and the Humber (29 per cent).
The TUC research also shows that as long-term unemployment has rocketed government support for unemployed young people has fallen by 26 per cent following the replacement of the previous government's Youth Guarantee (which included the Future Jobs Fund) with the new Youth Contract.
According to the TUC study, the government will spend £98m less this year on support for jobless young people claiming Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) in England than was previously provided under the Youth Guarantee.
The North West, which has seen the biggest rise in long-term youth unemployment, has also witnessed the largest drop in funding - with nearly £16m cut from budgets.
The TUC believes that funding cuts, combined with the axing of the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), the hike in tuition fees and the proposed scrapping of housing benefit for under 25s, are making it much harder for young people to get on and find decent long-term work.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'With such sharp cuts in support for young unemployed people, it's no surprise that the government is failing to get to grips with this urgent problem.
It is deeply concerning that many of the areas hit hardest by unemployment are seeing such a steep drop in financial support for jobless youngsters.
Long-term youth unemployment is a ticking time bomb under the nation's finances, with severe consequences not just for young people but also for their communities and the country's wider economic prospects.
This crisis simply cannot be tackled on the cheap. These cuts are a false economy - failing to act now will cost us all in the longer-term.
Rather than rationing opportunities for young people, through scrapping the EMA, raising tuition fees and cutting housing benefit, the government should be making it easier for them to get on and fulfil their full potential.'
Long term youth unemployment and funding cuts per region
April - June 2012
2010 & 2012
2010 & 2012 (%)
|Reduction in 16-24 unemployment
funding following end of Youth Guarantee (£000s)
|Yorkshire & The Humber||40,219||51,988||11,769||29||-13,530|
|East of England||28,490||39,799||11,309||40||-8,600|
Source: Labour Force Survey, ONS