Unemployment figures are a grim measure of recession, says Mason

17 Mar 2009

John Mason, the SNP spokesman on Work & Pensions, has expressed grave concern over the increase in jobless figures, amid reports from the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) revealing the ratio of jobs to applicants is exceeding 1 to 10 in many parts of the country.

Unemployment is set to exceed two million when the Office for National Statistics publishes its latest data tomorrow (Wednesday). Between October and December the UK jobless figure rose by 146,000 to 1.97 million, with this being the highest level since 1997.

Meanwhile, the STUC have published analysis which shows that the ratio of jobs to jobseekers is on average 1 to 10 across Scotland with some unemployment blackspots with an even higher ratio.

Commenting earlier today John Mason, the SNP MP for Glasgow East, said:

“The prospect of the UK jobless total passing two million is truly grim, and underlines the depth of the recession. These appalling unemployment figures underline the desperate need to get a grip on the economic crisis.

“In particular, the STUC analysis shatters Gordon Brown’s claims that there are plenty of jobs available for people who are prepared to look. We need to stimulate the economy, we need to create new jobs as well as protecting existing ones, and that means ditching irresponsible plans to slash public spending in Scotland.

“I have visited Jobcentre Plus offices and private recruitment companies in my constituency, and their staff are doing what they can to find work for people. But the UK Government must step up their action – and they should start by ruling out their senseless plan to cut Scottish public spending in the teeth of the recession.”