More than a million young people are now unemployed, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This means that over one in five people under the age of 24 are looking for work. That’s the highest level since comparable records began in 1992.
Overall unemployment has risen to 2.62 million—the highest in 17 years.
Not all regions have suffered equally. Unemployment stands at over 10 percent in places like Yorkshire and the north east of England.
Employment minister Chris Grayling complains that the youth unemployment figures are unfair because they include students who are seeking jobs.
But only a small number of students is included. And for many students, a job is the only way to support their studies.
Other ministers call for better transport links for those willing to travel to where the jobs are. But with unemployment at 8.3 percent nationally, it’s not clear where they mean.
Official unemployment figures actually underestimate the true scale of the problem by excluding those considered “economically inactive”.
This refers to a whopping 23.3 percent of the adult population who are not considered to be actively looking for work.
This includes the category the ONS calls “discouraged workers” whose “main reason for not seeking work was because they believed there were no jobs available”.
In many local authorities, from the Isle of Wight to the Orkneys, the number of people claiming jobseekers’ allowance is more than ten times the number of job vacancies.
The Tories’ cuts have already destroyed jobs in the public sector. Over 100,000 people stopped working for the public sector between March and June this year.
The government has argued that the private sector will pick up the slack and create new jobs in their place. But the figures expose this as a fantasy. The few new jobs are instantly swallowed up by the demand.
Royal Mail received 110,000 applications for just 18,000 seasonal jobs.
Even in skilled trades the story is the same. Car giant Jaguar Land Rover received more than 8,000 applications for 1,000 new jobs at its plant in Solihull, West Midlands.
And nearly 150,000 more people were made redundant in the three months up to October.
Bosses and recruitment consultants have lined up to appear in the media blaming unemployment on the “attitude” of those out of work.
“Time and time again I see young people turn up for interviews wearing grubby jeans and tracksuits,” moaned hotel owner Terry Rogers in the Daily Mail last week.
But the figures show that the situation is the same however well-presented you are, whether you are young or old, in the public or private sector. The jobs are drying up.