Thursday, February 12, 2009

Labour solution to rising unemployment: close job centres

The number of people on Jobseekers in Wales is four times higher than the number of jobs available, the Liberal Democrats have revealed.

The figures, revealed through Parliamentary Questions, also show that:

· There are 6 Welsh constituencies in which Jobseekers outnumber vacancies by more than 10 to 1.

· There are 16 Welsh constituencies in which Jobseekers outnumber vacancies by more than 5 to 1 – 14 of which have Labour MPs

Commenting, Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, said:

“These figures underline just how badly Wales is being hit by the unemployment crisis.

“Gordon Brown can talk about there being half a million vacancies all he wants, but if they aren’t being advertised and they’re not in the areas they’re needed, they aren’t going to be much help.

“Some parts of Wales are looking increasingly desperate with over 10 Jobseekers for each vacancy.

“Rather than provide help when it is needed, ministers have closed almost 50 Jobcentres across Wales over the last five years alone.

“We need to ensure that Jobcentres are easily accessible for the public and that they offer access to all the jobs available.”

Welsh Lib Dem Shadow Economy Minister, Jenny Randerson AM added:

"This is a worrying milestone in this increasingly long and bleak period. The UK rate is running at 6.3%, so Wales is in a considerably worse position. For a long period, the Welsh unemployment rate was below the UK average, and now we have fallen behind. This raises serious questions about the unsustainable nature of the economy that Labour has built in Wales over the last decade.

The worrying thing is that because no-one can tell how long this recession will go on for, we just do not know how bad things are going to get. It is clear however that Wales is facing an even more difficult time than the rest of the UK. This means the Assembly Government's response needs to be sharper, more focused and more effective."

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