Belfast Telegraph

Dole queue gridlock

By ALAN JONES

The long-term unemployed in the UK have hardly benefited from the improved labour market, with almost 900,000 out of work for at least a year, according to a new report.

In Northern Ireland, figures from last month estimated that 59.2% of the unemployed have been on the dole for one year or more – up 14 percentage points over 12 months.

It means that out of 68,000 unemployed people in the province, 40,256 have been jobless for over one year.

The TUC said that the total UK-wide was 16,000 higher than a year ago, and more than twice as high as pre-recession levels.

The union organisation urged the Government to do more to tackle the problem, warning that being out of a job for so long can permanently scar people's careers.

The TUC said the UK's unemployment rate was 2.7% higher than its pre-recession level, above the average increase across the OECD of 2.3%.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "It's worrying that even as the labour market has improved slightly, long-term unemployment has continued to rise.

The report was released ahead of the latest unemployment figures tomorrow.

Belfast Telegraph