Big increase in jobless and drops in pay since 2010

MP John Healey has led a project which has revealed big increases in unemployment and drops in pay across Rotherham and Barnsley since 2010.

His work has led to the publication of the first quarterly Jobs and Opportunities Bulletin, from Yorkshire and the Humber Labour MPs.

It analyses current facts and figures from the Office of National Statistics to forensically examine the challenges facing our region as Britain attempts to recover from the longest recession since the war.

The bulletin shows that:

• the number of over 25s in Rotherham claiming JSA for more than two years is now nearly four-and-a-half times higher than in 2010
• the number of under 25s in the Rotherham Parliamentary constituency claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) for more than a year has multiplied more than six times over, from 45 in May 2011 to 295 two years later
• in Mr Healey’s Wentworth & Dearne constituency, gross full-time pay dropped by more than £2,000 a year in real terms between 2010 and 2012. In the Barnsley Central constituency it fell by £2,600 – more than 10%
• Labour’s jobs guarantee would give work to 1,415 people in Barnsley and 1,660 in Rotherham

Mr Healey said: “Our area has been hit much harder by the economic downturn and this government’s cuts than other parts of the country.

“But there is fantastic potential here and challenges are not insurmountable if the government is prepared to take action.”

The document will show how Labour’s alternative would be making a positive difference to the region, helping the creation of jobs and growth.

In the first edition, MPs show how effectively the region’s chronic long-term unemployment problem would be overcome if Labour’s Jobs Guarantee scheme was implemented, which would get 30,000 people back into work.

Published quarterly, the bulletin will serve as a measurement of the positive or negative impact government policies and initiatives are (or are not) having on this region’s economy, and in particular the effect on those seeking working.

This first edition makes three central arguments:

1. Government economic policies are hitting jobs hard
Lack of economic recovery and spending cuts is hitting employment in the region hard, and harder than elsewhere.

2. Living standards are falling
Full-time work is being replaced by part-time work and wages are falling across the region in real terms, exacerbating the growing problem of in-work poverty.

3. Young people are being hit the hardest
This Tory-led government is leaving young people in our region behind and is in danger of creating a lost generation.

Rother Valley MP Kevin Barron, chair of the Yorkshire & Humber Labour MPs parliamentary group, said: “This document lays bare what many have long suspected – that David Cameron and his out of touch government are failing the people of Yorkshire and the Humber.

“Our region is being starved of the investment and help it needs to build jobs and growth, and the result is unemployment far higher than the national average, long-term youth unemployment spiralling out of control, and living standards falling.

“The government’s dogmatic programme of cuts and incompetence in delivering on its promises of capital investment are actively stifling opportunity across Yorkshire and the Humber.

“Before we are faced with another lost generation, as we saw in the eighties, we must take action. We hope this document can shine a light on the issues our region faces, and put further pressure on this government to stop watching on from the side-lines and finally take action.”