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Hidden Crisis Of Long-Term Job Seekers

(c) Sky News 2012

Long-term unemployment is the "hidden crisis" of the slow economic recovery, a study has shown.

The latest unemployment figures are expected to rise again, to 2.75 million, despite two months of falling numbers.

A study by the IPPR think-tank suggests that the proportion of those unemployed for more than a year is likely to go back up to the peak seen at the beginning of last year.

It said that in such a tough labour market, it is inevitable that many of the people who have lost their jobs in the last 12 months will struggle to find new ones and will join the ranks of the long-term unemployed.

IPPR chief economist Tony Dolphin said: "Long-term unemployment is the hidden
crisis of the slowest ever economic recovery in the UK.

"While the youth contract is designed to help young people out of work for more than a year, the work programme has only been able to secure employment for about a third of jobseekers on the programme.

"Government policy is not keeping pace with joblessness."

A separate report by Policy Exchange found that people aged 50 or above who lose their jobs are more likely to remain out of work for longer periods of time than other age groups.

The group also found that older workers were still being discriminated against on the grounds of their age.

The report warned that unless there was a significant shift in the position, serious long-term damage could be caused to the economy and living standards of a large part of the population.