Jobless figures up 25% in 3 months for city youngsters

The numbers of Edinburgh youths looking for work has risen. Picture: PA
The numbers of Edinburgh youths looking for work has risen. Picture: PA
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THE number of young people out of work in the Capital for more than a year has risen by a quarter in just three months, according to new figures.

In April, the News revealed 300 people aged between 18 and 24 had been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for at least 12 months, but by July this had risen to 375 – an increase of 25 per cent.

In July 2011, there were only 105 recorded claimants, meaning the number of young people signing on in the city has risen by 257 per cent in a year.

Labour today said out-of-work 18 to 24-year-olds were “paying the price” for flawed economic policies from the UK Government.

Edinburgh East Labour MP and work and pensions select committee member Sheila Gilmore said: “Ministers are still clinging to the failing policies that have driven our economy back into recession.

“Young people in Edinburgh are still paying the price for this government’s economic failure.

“Out-of-touch ministers need to wake up to the jobs crisis they are responsible for and take urgent action now.”

According to the figures, Edinburgh South has seen the largest rise in the percentage of young people claiming JSA for more than a year, up 350 per cent since July 2011.

Edinburgh South West saw youth unemployment rise quickest, with 75 new claimants over the past year.

The UK Government insisted the figures were not an accurate reflection because young people are no longer taken off JSA when joining training schemes, while Scottish ministers said there had been a 2.3 per cent rise in youth employment across the country.

A spokeswoman for Iain Duncan Smith MP, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “These claims are categorically incorrect – long-term youth unemployment has not soared in the way Labour are claiming.

“Despite youth unemployment falling once again in yesterday’s figures, this is still a big challenge and that’s why I called for Scottish businesses to take a chance and give a young British worker a chance earlier this spring.”

Youth employment minister Angela Constance MSP said: “I am very encouraged indeed to see a rise in youth employment of 10,000 in the last year. Clearly, there is much work still to be done, but the figures demonstrate that our efforts in this area are starting to pay off.”