Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to today’s Labour Market Statistics, said:
“Any shred of progress on jobs is welcome but today's figures show that economic recovery is so weak that pay is plummeting.
"Job creation is now so sluggish that pay-packets are getting hammered in the longest squeeze since the 1870s. Those in work are working harder and earning less - £1,350 a year less than they were in 2010 - in fact workers are earning today the same as they made in 2000. We are now creating jobs ten times more slowly than this time last year and there are more part-timers looking for full time work than ever before.
“Worse, it’s now clear the Government's so-called welfare revolution has collapsed.
“Three years into this Parliament, there are now more people unemployed long term than at any time since 1996. No wonder George Osborne says the Work Programme is underperforming. The jury is in. The Government's welfare reform has failed. We have a nearly a million young people out of work and nearly a million people locked out of work long term - half of those for two years or more.
“We can't go on like this. We urgently need real action to get Britain back to work, starting with Labour’s Compulsory Jobs Guarantee to get anyone unemployed for more than two years into a real paying job – one they would be required to take.”