- One fifth of all jobseekers have been searching for a job for over 12 months
- Yorkshire & Humber and Wales are the worst affected regions
- The number of jobseekers looking for work for over 12 months has risen by 8% in a year
Research by totaljobs.com has revealed that nearly a fifth of jobseekers (18%) have been looking for work for over a year, a rise of 8% over the past twelve months, leading to concern around rising levels of long-term unemployment.
This increase in the numbers who are long term unemployed has had a significant impact on public finances, as John Salt explains:
“Many people are at first reluctant to apply for Job Seekers’ Allowance, but the longer a person is without work, the more likely they are to claim. What’s more, a person’s employability reduces every month they’re not working, which creates a vicious cycle. To break this downward spiral there needs to be a partnership between the government and the unemployed. More work based training needs to be put in place in areas under particular stress – like Wales and Yorkshire – and those looking for work have to be flexible.”
The situation in some regions is significantly worse with Yorkshire and Humber and Wales charting 9% and 10% increases respectively in the number of jobseekers searching for a job for over a year. In both regions, 21% of jobseekers have now spent more than 12 months looking for work.
John Salt, director at totaljobs.com, explains why these regions have been so badly affected:
“The collapse of heavy industries such as automotive manufacturing has hit areas like Yorkshire and Wales particularly hard. The long term, structural unemployment that resulted from these declining industries was partially reduced by huge investment in the public sector which created jobs, particularly for women. That investment is now running dry and job cuts are affecting areas across the country but places like Yorkshire and Wales have been less successful at attracting the private sector investment needed to create new jobs.”
By contrast, the South West of England and Northern Ireland have seen much smaller rises in the number of jobseekers searching for work for over the past twelve months. Respectively, these regions have seen a 7% and 3% increases since last year, forcing up the number searching for over a year to 15% and 12%.
These regions have been less severely hit by the cut in government spending and efficiency drives. The South West is one of the lowest areas of government spend per head in the country and well as relatively low levels of public sector employment compared to the rest of the UK, the areas is therefore, less likely to see wide scale redundancies. Northern Ireland, on the other hand, has been largely insulated from the deepest government spending cuts and public sector employment remains high relative to the rest of the UK.