UK unemployment rose by 49,000 to almost 2.5 million in the three months to the end of November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported.
Twenty-three per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds are now out of work, after a rise of 32,000 to 951,000 without jobs, the highest figure since records began in 1992.
Despite the rise, the unemployment rate in the UK remained unchanged at 7.9 per cent.
This is because at the same time as the numbers out of work are growing, so is the government campaign to prevent people getting the JobSeeker’s Allowance or to force them off of the JobSeeker’s Allowance.
This is how the number of people claiming JobSeeker’s Allowance in December fell by 4,100 to 1.46 million.
Already there are 1.16 million people working part-time, for a pittance, the highest figure since records began.
On Tuesday, the Institute of Public Policy Research warned that the UK faced a double-dip in employment, with the jobless level expected to rise during 2011.
In fact, there are to be up to 200,000 sackings of council workers this year, along with tens of thousands of other workers, as the economic crisis worsens.
The TUC leader Brendan Barber stated yesterday that ‘With more than a fifth of young people out of work, we face a real danger of losing another generation of young people to unemployment and wasted ambition . . . With the worst of the cuts still to come, this government risks making high joblessness a permanent feature of our economy. It must change course before it’s too late.’
Unite’s leader Len McCluskey said: ‘These figures provide more proof that the Tory-led government are hell-bent on attacking young people.’
Dave Prentis, Unison General Secretary, said: ‘It’s misery for families, hit with a toxic cocktail of high inflation and the grim prospect of interest rate rises.
‘They are desperately trying to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads, with the ever-present threat of job cuts, hanging over them.
‘Meanwhile, it’s easy street for the bankers who caused this crisis, who are still making off with billions in bonuses.’
The trade union leaders are well able to describe the situation that faces workers and youth, but they are completely unwilling to do anything about it. Brendan Barber speaks for them all when he says that ‘the coalition must change course before it’s too late.’
However, the coalition has declared time and time against that it will not change course, and in fact will do everything that is necessary to save the bankrupt capitalist system and its bosses and bankers, including raising interest rates and ruining millions more people.
What is becoming crystal clear to workers is that the trade union bureaucracy who have been practising live and let live with capitalism for decades are part of the capitalist system and are incapable of fighting for the interests of the working class. They have not got the slightest intention to take on the bosses, bankers and the coalition who they say are ‘hell bent on attacking’ the working class and the youth.
There is only one way forward for the working class and that is to remove the reformist trade union leadership and replace it with a revolutionary leadership in the course of a struggle to organise a general strike to bring down the coalition and go forward to a workers government, and a socialist revolution.
A workers government will expropriate the bosses and bankers, restore free state education, and develop the NHS to provide health care for all, free at the point of need.
A socialist planned economy will rebuild the infrastructure that has collapsed under capitalism, and develop the economy to satisfy the needs of people.
Central to this will be an economic plan to build millions of homes to house the homeless and provide jobs, and a training in skills and trades, at trade union rates of pay, for millions of young people
This is the way forward. Capitalism must go and be replaced by socialism.