Nationally, youth unemployment numbers have gone down, but in Cornwall they have gone up for the fifth consecutive month.
At 3,155, December 2009 saw the highest number of 18 – 24 year olds claiming Jobseekers Allowance in December over the past 12 years. Those aged 18 – 24 now make up 33% of those claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Cornwall.
Unemployment across all age groups in Cornwall rose by over 1,500 people or 0.5% between November and December 2009 taking the total number of Job Seeker’s Allowance claimants in the county to 9,621 or 3.1%. This is lower than the peak in unemployment in March 2009 (9,883) but otherwise is the highest figure since December 2000.
Last December there were 1,857 unfilled job centre vacancies – down 140 on November 2009 – meaning 5.2 claimants per unfilled vacancies.
The figures for Cornwall do show that unemployment has been less prolonged here than across the South West, or Great Britain as a whole, with only 8.8% of those claiming Job Seekers Allowance doing so for over a year compared to 13.6% nationally, and 14.2% claiming for over 6 months, compared to 20.8% nationally.
The county’s MPs claim the figures show that the Government’s help for young people simply isn’t getting through to Cornwall and that not enough has been done to provide real, long-term employment opportunities here.
20,840 people have benefited from the Government’s ‘Six Month Offer’ of either a £1k payment to a company for employing them for over six months or ‘self Employment Credit’ worth £50 for each month of trading. However, just 8.6% (1,810) of these are from the whole of the south west.
Commenting, Matthew Taylor MP for Truro and St Austell said: “These terrible unemployment figures show how much needs to be done for the economy in Cornwall – though they remain far better than under the Conservatives in the 1980s and 1990s. What is important is that the economy continues to get the support it needs until the recession is clearly over – cutting too fast, or too far this year would risk throwing the economy into a “double dip” recession.”