Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to today’s Labour Market Statistics, said:
“Today's headline fall in unemployment is welcome news. But today's figures show no roaring recovery, they show very shaky foundations. Half of the country saw yet another rise in unemployment, nearly half a million people have been on the dole for more than a year, and youth unemployment rose.
“Worse, there are now more people on the dole long term than at any time since October 1997, there are more signing on for over two years than at any time since the 90s - and there are now more people in temporary jobs than at any time since July 2001.
“That's why Labour is demanding the Government introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee for anyone out of work for more than two years. We simply cannot afford to let people languish on the dole for years on end.
“This morning’s figures also lay bare the fact that prices are still rising much, much faster than wages. That's a real worry when the Government's strivers’ tax is punishing working families by cutting their tax credits. At a time when 8,000 millionaires are being handed a tax cut of more than £100,000 that simply cannot be justified.”