As part of its spring 'Budget for Jobs' campaign, to be launched with a policy statement next month, Labour constituencies and branches will be asked to monitor local job losses, cases of the Government guarantee of YTS places being broken, and the number of unemployed young people who are not on the register.
Gordon Brown, the shadow Chancellor, said unemployed under-25s would approach one million in 1993 and that more than 150,000 16- to 17-year-olds were without a job, while the guarantee that every unemployed 16- to 17- year-old would be offered a YTS place was 'yet another broken election promise'.
Employment Action, the scheme for the long-term unemployed, had been a 'dismal failure' following a promise of 30,000 places within six months. There are 25,800 on the scheme, 12 months after its introduction. Emergency employment measures to be called for during the campaign, still under discussion in the Shadow Cabinet, will include job-creating environmental improvement, public works and energy conservation programmes, an employment programme geared to the construction industry, and allowing local authorities to spend more council house sale receipts.
Under last month's Autumn Statement councils will be able to spend an estimated pounds 1.8bn of proceeds received until December 1993. Labour believes the pounds 1.8bn estimate is over-optimistic because councils will sell very few homes. More than pounds 5bn is frozen in bank accounts to redeem debt.
That prediction appeared to be borne out by research published today by Manpower, the employment agency, showing more than a quarter of employers forecasting job losses in the first three months of the new year. The recession is being felt more evenly throughout the regions, while employment prospects are worst in local government and banking with 36 per cent of employers predicting redundancies.
The research found that 10 per cent of 2,000 large employers in the survey were forecasting an increase in employment, while 26 per cent foresaw job cuts. The benefits of any slight economic upturn seemed to be elusive with a net balance of 16 per cent of organisations predicting redundancies.
The previous differential between North and South appears to be disappearing. Earlier in the recession, the North was relatively buoyant, but Manpower found it was now the least optimistic area. In the West a net 25 per cent of employers predicted job losses; in the North and Scotland, 17 and 14 per cent respectively.
Manpower Survey of Employment Prospects (first quarter); Manpower UK, International House, 66 Chiltern Street, London W1M 1PR.
Young people in Scotland earn as little as pounds 1 an hour, it was claimed today. The Scottish Low Pay Unit said the average pay rate for young people who approached the unit this year was pounds 1.64 an hour, compared with pounds 1.73 in 1991.Reuse content