In total, 10,225,000 people have signed on since April 1992 - 27 per cent of all people between 16 and retirement age. In Wirral South, where voters go to the polls in a by-election today, 14,000 people have claimed benefit.
The figures were given in a written answer to Labour's employment spokesman, Stephen Byers. Yesterday Mr Byers criticised ministers who had claimed that job insecurity was "a state of mind".
He added: "They should try telling that to the one in four who have lost their jobs since the last election. Fran AbramsReuse content