Long-term youth unemployment is up by 23% while government support is cut by 26%
TUC analysis published today shows that long-term youth unemployment in England has increased by 23 per cent since the government came to power in May 2010.
The North West is the worst hit region with a 53 per cent increase (26,000 ) in the number of 16-24 year-olds out of work for six months or longer, followed by the East of England 40 per cent (11,309) and Yorkshire and the Humber 29 per cent(11,769). London is the only area to have witnessed a small fall.
The TUC research also shows that as long-term unemployment has rocketed government support for unemployed young people has fallen by 26 per cent following the replacement of the previous government’s Youth Guarantee (which included the Future Jobs Fund) with the new Youth Contract.
According to the TUC study, the government will spend £98m less this year on support for jobless young people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) in England than was previously provided under the Youth Guarantee.
The North West, which has seen the biggest rise in long-term youth unemployment, has also witnessed the largest drop in funding – with nearly £16m cut from budgets.
The TUC is concerned that with the new funding levels under the Youth Contract dependent upon employers taking-up the government’s job subsidy places, the cuts could be even sharper.
No statistics have yet been published on employer take-up levels but concerns have been raised by the manufacturers’ organisation the EFF that many employers do not know about the new scheme.
The TUC believes that the funding cuts, combined with the axing of the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), the hike in tuition fees and the proposed scrapping of housing benefit for under 25s, are making it much harder for young people to get on and find decent long-term work.
Long term youth unemployment and funding cuts per region
|Region||16-24 long –term unemployed – April–June 2010||16-24 long -term unemployed April–June 2012||% change in 16-24 long -term unemployment
|Reduction in 16-24 unemployment funding following end of Youth Guarantee (£000s)|
|Yorkshire & the Humber||40,219||51,988||29||-13,530|
|East of England||28,490||39,799||40||-8,600|
Source: Labour Force Survey, ONS
– £450 million a year was allocated to the Youth Guarantee (which was cut by the coalition Government in June 2010), www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/press_13_10.pdf, £1 billion of expenditure has been allocated to the Youth Contract over three years www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/press-releases/2011/nov-2011/dwp132-11.shtml. These cuts amount to a reduction in expenditure of £116m per year, or £270.58 less for each unemployed young person. Once Wales and Scotland are excluded (neither programme applied to Northern Ireland), the cut equates to £97.9m per year across England.
– Recent research from the manufacturers’ organisation EEF suggests that awareness of the Youth Contract is low www.eef.org.uk/releases/uk/2011/Youth-contract-fails-to-hit-mark-for-manufacturers-.htm and the Work and Pensions Select Committee recently concluded that it was unlikely that the government would meet its take-up targets for the programme.
– The TUC analysis refers to long-term youth unemployment as unemployment of six months or more using the International Labour Organisation definition. The cuts in support are calculated by applying a cut of £270.58 per person to all young people in each region who are claiming JSA.