Unemployment higher than official figures

Unemployment in the North West Photo: ITV

The level of unemployment in the North West is much higher than official figures according to a new report. It claims half a million people are out of work with Knowsley, Blackpool and Liverpool having the most people out of work.

The real level of unemployment in North West England is already nearly half a million, says a report published today by Sheffield Hallam University.

Unemployment in the North West Credit: ITV

The new estimate for April this year– 496,000, or more than 11 per cent of the region’s working age population – ismore than 120,000 above the highest official figure and nearly 300,000 morethan the number claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Across Britain as a whole the reportestimates that the real level of unemployment is nearly 3.5 million – almost amillion higher than any official figures.

The new report documents the scale of‘hidden unemployment’ among men and women who fail to qualify for Jobseeker’sAllowance or are diverted onto other benefits.

The report presents an alternativeset of unemployment figures for every district in the North West, exposing the extent to whichhidden unemployment is concentrated in the region’s weakest local economies.

Knowsley in Merseyside is estimatedto have the highest rate of unemployment in Britain – just under 17 percent. Blackpool, Liverpool and Rochdale are not far behind.

Unemployment in the North West, April 2012: worst affected 10 districts

** ** ** ** Knowsley - 16.8%

Blackpool - 16.7%

Liverpool -16.1% Rochdale - 14.5%

Halton - 14.4%

Burnley - 13.8%

Blackburn with Darwen - 13.4% Barrow in Furness - 13.2 % Oldham - 13.0 % Wirral - 13.0%

Source: Sheffield Hallam University