Figures released by the Office of UK National Statistics last week show that 294,000, or 8.6 per cent of, people in the North West are unemployed.
This is contrary to the national trend where the total number of people in employment is now at a new record high and the North West TUC believe this shows just how hard hit the region is.
Lynn Collins, NW TUC regional secretary, said: “The North West is feeling the effects of the government’s austerity agenda. It’s clear proof that more needs to be done and that the government’s plans just aren’t working.
“Despite cutting public sector jobs and the slow growing economy that isn’t creating the jobs the government predicted, the Coalition seems to have run out of ideas. We need an alternative economic model that delivers good sustainable jobs and we need a jobs guarantee for every unemployed young person.
“A rise in unemployment comes on top of a cost of living crisis, with rising costs alongside real term wage cuts and an increase in the use of food banks and pay day lenders. It’s difficult for anyone to claim that this is working for people in the North West.”
The release of the figures coincided with a change in the law which means that anyone making a new claim for Job Seekers Allowance will have to sign a Claimant Commitment. The commitment will see jobseekers having to account more clearly for their efforts to find work in order to receive their benefits.
This will roll out in around 100 jobcentres a month until it’s fully implemented across the county in the spring.