Labour MPs warn of widening North/South divide in joblessness total (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Unemployment on the rise again in the North-East and Yorkshire
LABOUR MPs have warned of a widening North-South divide after unemployment rose again in the North-East.
In the three months to July the number of people out of work increased by 5,000 to 136,000, an unemployment rate of 10.4 per cent.
Yorkshire also saw a rise - up by 1,000 to 245,000, an unemployment rate of 8.9 per cent.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics continued a recent trend, whereby unemployment overall has fallen - down by 24,000 to 2.49m in the quarter - but the region has failed to follow suit.
Iain Wright, Labour MP for Hartlepool and Shadow Minister for Competitiveness and Enterprise, said: “Another rise in unemployment in the region is deeply concerning.
“It makes George Osborne’s complacent boasts about the economic recovery sound even more hollow to people in the North-East.
“We need a recovery that benefits everyone in every part of the country, not just a few at the top, in certain regions. We are seeing the North/South gap widening in terms of the jobless rate. This will undermine the sustainability of any economic recovery and the government must take action to help this region.
“Labour wants to help to make work pay by introducing a lower 10p starting rate of tax, paid for by a mansion tax, and to repeat the tax on bank bonuses to pay for a compulsory jobs guarantee for young people.”
His Labour colleague, Durham North MP Kevan Jones claimed the Coalition was creating a “two speed Britain”.
Writing on his Twitter page he said: “There is the danger of another lost generation of young people.
“The North-East needs urgent action on unemployment, not more reports on regional structures or promises of jam tomorrow.”
Stockton South MP Conservative James Wharton said he welcomed the overall fall in unemployment and also pointed out that the Government had helped create more than 1.4m new private sector jobs.
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