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Long-term unemployment increases to ‘worryingly high’ levels

The number of people unemployed for more than a year has risen to the highest number since 1997, according to a new report.

An analysis of official data by political think-tank IPPR showed there were 850,000 people who had been unemployed for more than 12 months, up 20,000 in recent months, taking the total to “worryingly high” levels.

After significant falls through the late 1990s and 2000s, the rate of long-term unemployment began to rise steeply again from the start of 2009, the report said.

The proportion of unemployed men who have been out of work for more than a year rose from 25% (338,000) in 2009 to almost 40% (568,000) in the latest figures, while the proportion of unemployed women who have been jobless for more than a year rose from 19% (169,000) in 2009 to 27% (282,000), the study showed.

Nick Pearce, IPPR director, said: “Headline figures suggest that unemployment levels are stable, but these mask underlying trends.

“Many people are experiencing long spells of unemployment and long-term unemployment is rising steeply.

“Being out of work for more than a year can have a scarring effect, making it harder to get a job as well as having a negative impact on one’s health and wellbeing.”

Outset Torbay, the business start-up support programme funded by ERDF Competitiveness and Employment and Torbay Development Agency has so far worked with 65 people in Torbay who are long-term unemployed, since its launch in November 2010.  Through informal group workshops and one-to-one coaching, the free programme helps build confidence and skills to support long-term unemployed and other groups under-represented in business, into self-employment.

To find out more about the free support available call freephone 0800 032 2905 or email info@outsettorbay.co.uk.