JOSHUA Ogunleye, National Secretary of the Young Socialists, told News Line yesterday: ‘The huge rise in youth unemployment to over the one million mark is a statement that this system cannot provide a future for young people.
‘The anger that we saw in last August’s riots, and the recent student march against fees and the current occupation of St Paul’s shows young people are demanding a future better than capitalism can provide.
‘The government threatens those unemployed with no council homes and cutting their benefits, driving them into absolute poverty.
‘But as unemployment soars, it’s the young people that are hit the hardest. This government must go now!
‘Millions of angry workers and youth will rise up and put them out of office.’
The figures show that UK unemployment increased to 2.62m in the three months to September.
UK unemployment rose by 129,000 as the jobless total for 16 to 24-year-olds hit a record high of 1.02 million in the quarter, a rise of 67,000.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the unemployment rate increased to 8.3%.
The number of people out of work and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance rose by 5,300 to 1.6 million in October.
The unemployment rate of 8.3% is the highest since 1996 and the total number of unemployed people, the highest since 1994.
The number of people in work was also down 197,000 on the quarter.
Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said: ‘The millions of workers without jobs face a miserable Christmas and a bleak New Year. For all the economic problems in other parts of Europe the number of young people out of work is far higher in the UK than in other parts of Europe and is three times higher than in Germany.
‘Instead of attacking pensions and employment rights and making it easier to sack people, the government should be pursuing policies to create jobs which is something it is failing miserably to do. Where are all the jobs that were promised to make up for the hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in the public sector?’
The RMT’s General Secretary Bob Crow commented: ‘These shocking figures show the trail of misery left in the wake of ConDem Government policies is getting worse by the day. While the rich get richer a whole generation is dumped on the scrapheap in the cynical pursuit of austerity cuts whose roots lie in the greed and recklessness of the spivs and speculators.
‘Nowhere is the insanity of government policy more exposed than in the betrayal of Bombardier in Derby where thousands of jobs and hundreds of apprenticeships are threatened by a combination of ConDem incompetence and EU diktat. The fight to protect our members from this carnage goes on.’
The University and College Union (UCU) general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: ‘Youth unemployment hits one million at a time when young people’s access to education is being restricted. In order to help young people we need to be bringing in policies that encourage them to get on, not erecting financial barriers to education.’
‘Aside from the financial cost of consigning hundreds of thousands of people to the dole queue, we risk producing a generation with few prospects and little chance to alter their situation.’
None of the TUC leaders called for the coalition government to be made to resign.