Jobless total soars in ministers' seats

UNEMPLOYMENT has more than doubled over the past two years in constituencies held by Cabinet ministers, according to figures compiled by Frank Dobson, Labour's employment spokesman. Since November 1990 the jobless total in their 20 constituencies has risen on average by 108 per cent, against 68 per cent for the country as a whole.

The rise may reflect the preponderance of Cabinet ministers with seats in the South, where the recession hit harder earlier. The rises take the total unemployed in their constituencies from 34,000 to 71,000. The sharpest increases have come in Surrey South West and St Albans, the seats of Virginia Bottomley, Secretary of State for Health, and Peter Lilley, Secretary of State for Social Security, which both saw increases of more than 200 per cent.

Unemployment in John Major's Huntingdon seat rose by 155 per cent to 4,318. Only four Cabinet ministers - Malcolm Rifkind and Ian Lang, the two with Scots constituencies, and David Hunt in Wirral West and William Waldegrave in Bristol West - saw percentage increases below the average, although the total number of jobless at 6,359 is highest in Mr Waldegrave's constituency.

Mr Dobson said: 'If this is what they do to their own voters, what hope is there for the rest of the country?' He said Labour would demand an employment strategy in advance of the March Budget. John Smith, the Labour leader, added: 'Government have to take responsibility for jobs - and that means active government'.

An emergency employment programme was needed, he said, because 'recovery won't happen until we get rid of the fear of unemployment'. Investment and training were needed to produce high-wage, high-skill jobs that would help rebuild the economy.

The rise in unemployment could accelerate to almost 50,000 a month over the next three months to take the total to more than 3 million by the time of the Budget, the TUC has warned.

The politically sensitive 3 million figure will be reached in either January or February as the monthly rate of increase rises from its current rate of 32,600. Seasonal factors and prolonged recession will be responsible, TUC statisticians believe.

The analysis shows that more than half the job losses since 1989 have been in manufacturing. Mechanical engineering lost 137,000 jobs, while electronics and electrical engineering lost 91,000. Other sectors of the economy badly hit are construction, which has lost 240,000 jobs since 1989, and retailing (130,000).

Congress House has launched a job loss monitor and is asking unions to collect detailed evidence on the monthly total of redundancies in their industries.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'