Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, commenting on today’s Labour Market Statistics, said:
“The tiniest glimmer of light is to be welcomed but today's figures confirm the awful truth that there's been practically zero progress tackling unemployment since last summer. Pay-packets have continued to take an absolute hammering while the government is cutting tax credits. Long term unemployment is becoming more deep set and employers are reporting skills shortages and more part-time workers are saying they're desperate for a full time job.
“The bottom line is unemployment is now higher than it was at the last election, and today unemployment rose again in two-thirds of England. Long term unemployment is now a massive 100,000 higher than back in 2010, the number of women out of work has risen yet again and last month saw a fall in the number of people coming off benefits.
“We simply can't go on like this. It's now as plain as day that we need fundamental, long term reform of our social security system, starting with Labour's compulsory jobs guarantee for young people and the long term unemployed.”