Unemployment for local young people almost double the national average

Date published: 18 June 2021

An Oldham MP has reacted angrily to new data which shows the number of young people who are unemployed in her constituency is almost double the UK average.

Data released by the House of Commons Library shows there were 1295 people aged 18-24 claiming unemployment support in May 2021, across the Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency, 15% of the local population compared to the UK rate of 8.2%.

Across all age groups there were 6,210 actual claimants across the constituency in May 2021, that is 2,875 more people than in March 2020, before the first lockdown.

That’s equivalent to 9.5% of the Oldham East and Saddleworth population compared to a UK rate of 6%.

Responding to the data, Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, said: "These figures, laid alongside the Government's mistakes and delays, show us just how any recovery can be.

"The lack of clarity in the Government's announcement on how they will support workers and businesses given the delay in their own roadmap, which is a result of their incompetence protecting our borders from new variants, is as unsurprising as it is disappointing.

"For sectors like hospitality, tourism, and the music and events industry that continue to be affected by restrictions, a month is a long time.

"Many businesses have financial pinch points coming up, including repayment of loans to support them through closure, but are still struggling to turn a profit.

"If businesses have to stay closed, or operate at massively reduced capacity, they're not going to be able to pay staff, rents and loans back. Government support must recognise that.

"If our economy, both here in Oldham, Saddleworth and nationally, is to emerge stronger from this pandemic we cannot allow a generation to be scarred by unemployment.

“Labour's jobs promise would provide a job or training opportunity for any young person away from work or education for six months and ensure no one is away from work for more than a year."

The UK unemployment rate across all age groups was estimated at 4.8%, a fall on the previous quarter.

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