Long-term joblessness up by 50%

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Union leaders have demanded action from ministers as they said 38,000 Scots were facing their second Christmas on the dole.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) said the number of people who had been out of work for a year or more had more had risen by 50 per cent from last December.

It said the number of young people unemployed for more than 12 months had quadrupled since May 2010, when the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition came to power at Westminster.

STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said more than 8,000 young Scots would spend a second consecutive Christmas out of work.

He said: “Since last Christmas, 50 per cent more Scots find themselves in the position of having been out of work for 12 months or more. This is miserable for them and disastrous for the long-term health of the economy.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “The unemployment rate in Scotland is once again lower than that of the UK as a whole and is the lowest of all UK nations, but more still needs to be done, particularly in light of the fall in employment.”