County jobless figures soar 84.5pc

The number of people out of work in Shropshire has soared by more than 80 per cent in the last year with not enough being done to help people back into jobs, a Liberal Democrat MP has claimed.

Ahead of his visit to the county this week, the party’s work and pensions spokesman Professor Steve Webb said Shropshire Jobcentre staff needed greater assistance to help those who have lost their jobs find employment.

According to latest figures available from Shropshire Council, the amount of people out of work has increased by 84.5 per cent in the past year.

Nearly 10,000 people are out of work and actively seeking new employment across Shropshire

Mr Webb is heading to Shrewsbury on Wednesday to discuss plans for tackling rising unemployment in a series of discussions with local stakeholders and members of the public.

Dr Charles West, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Shrewsbury and Atcham, said: “We need urgent action on unemployment.

“In Shropshire, the number of people out of work has increased by 84.5 per cent in the past year. The Lib Dems would help people get back to work, with no delays.”

Mr Webb said he had a number of ideas on how to improve the county’s employment problems.

He said: “We should scrap the pointless VAT cut immediately and use the money to create thousands of paid internships for young people to prevent them becoming the lost generation of this recession.

“Unemployment assistance needs to be more personalised and Jobcentre staff need to be given the resources necessary to help people get back on their feet quickly.

“Young people should be getting intensive support as soon as they sign on instead of having to wait a year for a guarantee of a job or training place.

“With vacancies at a record low, it is vital that we prevent today’s school and university leavers from becoming a lost generation of long-term unemployed.”

Britain’s unemployment total rose to its highest level in 14 years last month.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed a 210,000 rise in the unemployed during the three months to July, taking the total to 2.47 million.

Across Shropshire, an extra 101 people signed onto the unemployment register in August.

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