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It is because of my Labour values that I'll be voting No in the referendum. My essay in today's Scotsman.

Deep Concern About Youth and Long Term Unemplyment - UK and Scottish Governments of Failing to Stand Up for Local People

20 February 2013
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UK and Scottish Governments of Failing to Stand Up for Local People 
Douglas Expresses Deep Concern About Youth and Long Term Unemplyment

Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP Douglas Alexander has accused both the UK and Scottish Government’s of “failing to stand up for local people” as the latest jobless figures are released today (Wednesday).

The jobseeker allowance figures show that 252 more people in Paisley and Renfrewshire South constituency are claiming out of work benefits in January compared to December. This means 5.9% of the local working age population are claiming unemployment benefit, considerably higher than the 4.1% in Scotland and 3.8% in Great Britain.

Douglas Alexander is deeply concerned about levels of youth unemployment, as the number of young people (aged 18-24) claiming JSA rose by 8.55% between December and January – much greater than the 7% average increase in Scotland. The statistics also show that the number of long term youth unemployment has increased from 65 in January 2012 to 160 in January 2013 – an increase of 146%.

Similarly, the statistics show that a greater proportion of local people are long term unemployed, with 1.6% of people in the constituency out of work for over 12 months compared to 1.1% across Scotland as a whole.

With 910 people in Paisley and Renfrewshire South out of work for more than a year, the long term unemployment rate has more than doubled under the Tory-led Government.

Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP, Douglas Alexander, said:

“Our area is caught between both the UK and Scottish Governments, both of which are failing standing up for local people. The Tory UK government is cutting too far and too fast, and the SNP Scottish Government is obsessed with their separation campaign.

“Long term unemployment in our area has more than doubled under this Tory-led Government and youth unemployment is rising at a faster rate than the Scottish average. We desperately need to see action to kick start our economy and get people back to work.”

"Here in Renfrewshire I have helped the churches start a foodbank, and the Council is doing what it can to help but there is only so much that we can do locally.

“The SNP Scottish Government needs to see these figures as a wake-up call. While they are distracted by running their referendum campaign, more and more families and pensioners are struggling to pay the bills and afford the weekly shop.” 
Total JSA claimants

Paisley and Renfrewshire South

December 2012 – 3,027 (5.5%)
January 2013 – 3,279 (5.9%)

Comparison with Scotland and UK (January 2013)

Paisley and Renfrewshire South – 5.9%
Scotland – 4.1%
UK -3.8%

Youth unemployment (under 24, claiming JSA)

Paisley and Renfrewshire South

December 2012 – 760
January 2013 – 825
Increase of 8.55%


December 2012 – 34,680
January 2013 – 37,100
Increase of 7%

Long term youth unemployment (under 24, claiming JSA for more than 12 months)

January 2012 – 65 claiming JSA
January 2013 – 160 claiming JSA
Increase of 146%

Long term unemployment (all ages, claiming JSA for more than 12 months) - January 2013

Paisley and Renfrewshire South – 910 (1.6%) (Compared with 430 in May 2010)
Scotland – 38,310 (1.1%)

NB – All figures are unadjusted and released 20 February 2013

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