TUC: Job chances down in four areas

St Helens Star: TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said the chance of having a job has fallen in much of England since 2010 TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said the chance of having a job has fallen in much of England since 2010

Job chances have fallen in parts of the UK despite a fall in unemployment and increasing numbers of people in work, according to a new report.

The TUC said the likelihood of being in work has fallen in the North East, North West, West Midlands and South West since mid-2010.

Its study found that the UK's working age population has increased by almost four million in the last 20 years, so it was "hardly surprising" that employment levels had risen.

The West Midlands has the poorest long-term jobs record, with employment rates barely any better than 20 years ago, said the TUC.

The union organisation said the Government should do more to ensure that job chances increase equally throughout the country rather than be concentrated in London and the South East.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Britain's growing population has meant record levels of employment for much of the last two decades. But despite the return of growth the chance of having a job has actually fallen in much of England since 2010.

"The City of London may have caused the crash but the capital's job market has been the most resilient over the last five years. Instead, areas like the West Midlands have borne the brunt of recession, with people's chances of being in work are barely any better today than they were after the last recession in the early 90s.

"Whilst it's great that jobs are created being in London and the South East, stronger job creation is needed throughout the country. We need more well-paid jobs, as well as better wage rises for those already in work, if the UK's 30 million strong workforce is to get a fair share of the benefits of recovery."

The report was published ahead of new unemployment figures on Wednesday. Last month's date showed there were 2.39 million unemployed people in the UK in the three months to October, down by 99,000 on the previous quarter.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: "The number of people in work has hit 30 million for the first time, and latest figures showed that employment rose in Scotland, Wales and every English region - that's news which should be welcomed.

"Unemployment is falling, and the Government's long term economic plan to help people off benefits and into jobs by supporting those who want to work hard is succeeding."

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