THE continued fall in unemployment across Burton is masking wider issues in the job market, according to Labour’s parliamentary candidate.
The Mail revealed yesterday that the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in East Staffordshire dropped from 1,783 to 1,675 during July – a drop of 108.
However, Labour’s Burton parliamentary candidate Jon Wheale (pictured) told the Mail this masked the issues of a job market ‘dominated by insecure, low-waged employment’.
He said: “The small fall in the jobless total is to be welcomed, but 1,602 on Job Seekers Allowance is still too many and I am concerned that these figures hide a lost generation of young people being consigned to the dole queue.
“Youth unemployment in Burton remains a serious concern.
“The working world is now pockmarked by low-waged, insecure employment.
“How many jobs that are available in East Staffordshire are minimum waged, temporary or on a zero hour contract?”
Mr Wheale agreed that the economy should be talked up but said it must be remembered that the ‘cost of living crisis is a reality’.
He said: “The people of Burton deserve better than this.
“We need the creation of more ‘real’ jobs paying decent wages – more help to get our young talents off the dole queues and the long term unemployed back to into work.”
Burton MP Andrew Griffiths said the latest job figures showed the economy was ‘responding well’ locally and said it was important to ‘encourage confidence’.