Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/702/13581
Con-Demned to unemployment
Jaime Davies, South East Wales youth organiser
Official figures show that in the three months up to November last year unemployment rose by another 118,000 to break the 2.5 million mark. That's 118,000 more people who are unable to earn a living to support themselves and their families. There are only 463,000 job vacancies for all those people. In some places 32 people are chasing every available job.
In December, the number of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) claimants rose from 1,200 to 1.6 million. That's over one and a half million more people who will be made to not only struggle to survive on poverty incomes, but will also be made to feel like they are the lowest of the low by the right-wing media. Meanwhile the ruling classes and the bankers who caused this crisis take pay rises and bonuses. So who are the real scroungers?
Youth unemployment which was already over one million, a little less than half of the overall figure, has hit a new record of 1.043 million. That's 1.043 million futures being destroyed. Many will be unable to find a job even after paying out over £9,000 a year for three years of university tuition. Most are unable to move out and get their own homes and become independent. Some are just looking for a means of filling their day with a sense of purpose but instead are Con-Demned to day after day handing out CVs by the hundred and getting nowhere.
On workfare schemes like the Work Programme, young people are forced to work for free for billion pound companies in order to earn their JSA! The government would call it work experience but I would call it slave labour! Apart from it being grossly unfair it also provides the companies with no incentive to actually employ somebody because they are getting free workers.
Last year Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) organised two marches against youth unemployment. The first was from Merthyr to Cardiff which was sparked by Iain Duncan Smith's comments telling people from Merthyr to "get on a bus" to Cardiff and find a job.
The second was the Jarrow march from Jarrow to London which served as a fitting tribute to the original march 75 years ago as well as a way of highlighting the current crisis in society and showing that young people are prepared to take an organised stand and fight back.
See www.youthfightforjobs.com for more
In The Socialist 25 January 2012:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news