Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to today’s Labour Market Statistics, said:
"The headline fall in unemployment is a welcome respite in a blizzard of bad economic news. What today’s figures show is that Britain’s businesses are really putting their shoulder to the wheel to get Britain back to work.
"But it’s alarming that many regions in Britain saw unemployment continue to spiral up, the number of young people on the dole long term has now quadrupled in a year and long term unemployment rose sharply again. And the number claiming welfare payments went up yet again.
"These are exactly the people the Government’s Work Programme is supposed to get into jobs, and today is fresh evidence that the beleaguered Work Programme isn’t working.
"British business is doing its bit. It’s a shame that the Government is doing so little to help. In fact, around the country the business community is complaining about the bewildering confusion of back to work schemes, none of which appear to be helping.
"George Osborne’s failed policies have delivered a double-dip recession and a £150bn of extra borrowing, and that is holding Britain back. We urgently need a plan for jobs and growth to get the economy moving again and Ministers should start by bringing in Labour’s Real Jobs Guarantee to get our young people back to work."