Generation 'scarred' by long-term unemployment

The number of people unemployed for more than a year has risen to the highest since 1997, according to a new report.

An analysis of official data by think tank IPPR showed there were 850,000 people who had been unemployed for more than 12 months, up 20,000 in recent months, taking the total to "worryingly high" levels.

After significant falls through the late 1990s and 2000s, the rate of long-term unemployment began to rise steeply again from the start of 2009, the report said.

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The proportion of unemployed men who have been out of work for more than a year rose from 25 per cent (338,000 men) in 2009 to almost 40 per cent (568,000) in the latest figures, while the proportion of unemployed women who have been jobless for more than a year rose from 19 per cent (169,000) in 2009 to 27 per cent (282,000), the study showed.

Nick Pearce, IPPR director, said: "Headline figures suggest that unemployment levels are stable, but these mask underlying trends. Many people are experiencing long spells of unemployment and long-term unemployment is rising steeply.

"Being out of work for more than a year can make it harder to get a job as well as having a negative impact on health.

"The government's decision to abolish job guarantees for young people may leave a generation scarred for many years to come."