Alarming figures (and these are the registered claimants, so true numbers will be larger)
THE number of people claiming job seeker’s allowance in Wales soared by 72% in the last 12 months. The largest rise came in the over 50 age group, which increased by 79%.
There was also an 78% rise in those aged between 25-49 seeking to work, and 62% for those who are between 18 and 24 years old. The job seekers benefit count, which had been around 40,000 during every August since 2005, jumped from 45,975 in 2008 to 79,155 in August 2009.
But in contrast, the number of unfilled vacancies across Wales in the same month stood at less than 11,000. The largest proportion of jobcentre vacancies in Wales were in Swansea West constituency at 10% of live unfilled vacancies.
In North Wales, Alyn and Deeside had the highest proportion of unfilled vacancies at 3.8%, followed by Wrexham at 3.6%. Clwyd South has the lowest proportion of similar unfilled vacancies at just 0.6%, compared to 1% in Cynon Valley and 1.1% in Rhondda, Ogmore and Merthyr & Rhymney, and 1.2% in Ynys Môn.
On Anglesey, 1,695 claimants were looking at 131 vacancies, compared to 1,845 claimants and 394 vacancies in Wrexham, and 1,945 claimants and 412 vacancies on Deeside.
The figures were obtained by Plaid Cymru AMs Leanne Wood and Chris Franks, who argued that it would be wrong to expect unemployed people to chase jobs that did not exist. Leanne Wood said: “Any attempt to reduce the overall benefit budget will be disastrous for Wales. These figures show that you cannot force people into jobs that don’t exist.
nb. the use of accepted newspeak jobseekers, seeking work etc. these are government created linguistic scams, the only thing we can objectively say is people are unemployed and that should be the language the media use. There is an ongoing pressure to make unemployment -which neoliberalism relies upon to maintain a ‘flexible’ labour market, ie without protections or a living wage- an unacceptable state of being in order to facilitate cutting welfare, introducing workfare & further terrorising workers into a submissive pliable ‘human resource’. You either work or are desperately trying to work, the fact the jobs do not exist does not mitigate this stigmatising of an ‘undeserving poor’ for our political and media class.