New Labour Party research has highlighted the dangers of 'two lost generations' in Greater Manchester. Today’s GDP figures confirmed Britain has slumped to its longest double-dip recession in more than 50 years.
Now Labour’s Lucy Powell is calling for the Government to take urgent action as figures show an increasing number of women aged over 50 have joined young people, aged 18-24, in Greater Manchester in struggling to find work.
House of Commons Library statistics, based on Department of Work and Pensions data, show an alarming 67% increase in the number of women aged over 50 in Manchester Central claiming JSA for more than six months.
And, despite a slight drop in unemployment in Greater Manchester this month, the number of 18-24 year olds claiming JSA for over six months has increased by 117% since June 2011. Nearly 600 youngsters in Manchester Central have been claiming JSA for more than a year.
Lucy Powell, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Manchester Central, said:
“If these figures - together with today’s shocking GDP figures - don’t make the Chancellor & David Cameron wake up and realise they need to change course, I don’t know what will.
“The Government is out of touch with what’s happening. I’m very concerned that this recession is affecting very specific groups of people and what this means for Manchester Central.
“These figures suggest two generations of people who are losing the ability to work and will quickly become lost generations unless action is taken.
“This isn’t just about young people or older women but also about the families who will have to cope with extra burdens and limited finances and about the cost of paying unemployment benefits long term.
“We need a plan B now to get the economy moving again and radical reforms to set Britain on a new course for jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. The longer the Chancellor refuses to act, the heavier the price our country will pay.”