Quarter of a million people will be on the dole for second consecutive Christmas

The number of people claiming Job Seekerís Allowance (JSA) for more than a year has increased.

According to the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the number of dole claimants has increased by 35,000 since last year, with nearly 300,000 people spending their second Christmas on the dole.

The number of long-term dole claimants over the Christmas period has more than doubled since 2007 from 122,000 to 279,000 today. Last Christmas approximately 243,000 people had been out of work for at least a year.

Scotland and London have had the sharpest increase in long-term dole claimants since last year. The London borough of Hounslow recorded the biggest growth in JSA claimants, with more than 500 people on the dole in that particular area.

ìAs people gear up for the festive break, there won’t be much cheer for the quarter of a million people who are spending their second successive Christmas on the dole,î said Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary.

ìThe shocking rise in long-term unemployment is not just a personal tragedy for the families and friends of those unable to find jobs, it can affect entire communities and carries a huge economic cost.î

ìThe UK – one of the richest countries in the world – must not have the shame of millions of its own citizens facing poverty at Christmas with little or no pay,î continued Barber.

TUC research shows that long-term unemployment throughout the country is a very real problem. Mass public sector job cuts have contributed significantly to rising levels of unemployment. Millions of UK households are struggling to cope, living on the breadline and low wages.

Unemployment could put further pressure on household budgets which may lead them to take on high levels of debt.

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