Gloom as city jobless figure rises again

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UNEMPLOYMENT has risen again after reaching its highest level in Wakefield since 1997.

There were 9,872 people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) in the district last month, up from 9,640 in January.

But official figures showed a rise in the number of unfilled job centre vacancies. There were 9.8 JSA claimants for each vacancy in January, compared to 6.5 in February.

Nationally, overall unemployment rose by 28,000 to 2.67m, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The number of people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job rose by 110,000 to 1.38m, its highest since records began in 1992.

Wakefield MP Mary Creagh said “It is a huge worry that nearly 10,000 people are out of work in Wakefield, the highest number for 15 years. Long-term youth unemployment has more than doubled in one year, after the government axed Labour’s Future Jobs fund, which created 300 jobs in the district.

“Our young people are paying the price for this government’s indifference.”