Low-paid ‘most likely to be stuck on dole for more than six months’

LOW-PAID workers such as cleaners, catering assistants and machine operators are most likely to be on the dole for more than six months if they lose their jobs, according to new research.

The TUC analysis showed that, as unemployment rises and the number of job vacancies fall, a growing proportion of jobless people are staying on the dole for more than six months, hitting low-paid workers more than others.

The number of dole claimants out of work for more than six months has increased by about a third since the start of the recession, rising from 29 per cent in April 2008 to 40 per cent in October this year, with about one in six claimants out of work for longer than a year.

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The study showed the risk of becoming long-term unemployed has increased most for machine operators, cleaners, catering assistants and security guards, while dole claimants from professional occupations have seen barely any change in the length of time they are spending out of work.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “The risk of long-term unemployment is a huge concern to the millions of people currently out of work, as it can permanently scar their career prospects.

“While the majority of unemployed people are still able to come off the dole within six months, an increasing number of previously low-paid workers are getting stuck on the dole for at least six months and sometimes for over a year.”

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