Unemployment Figures "Startling" Says MP

4 February 2010, 12:16 | Updated: 5 February 2010, 05:43

The increase in unemployment in North East Bedfordshire in the last 12 years is the 15th largest rise in the country.

Figures from the Government have shown the number of people out of work in the area has increased by 118.1% since 1997.  The number of unemployed claimants grew by 51.7% compared to last year.

Alistair Burt, the MP for the area said the increases continue to make "startling reading".

"The complacency of Government and Labour figures is quite startling", he said.  "Since Labour came to office the rise of 118% in unemployment stands as stark evidence of failure of both economic and employment policy. We should also consider that the number of those who are classed as “economically inactive” has also risen markedly, and we have
taken a worse hit than most.

"The failure to get money from state-funded banks to small business, which will be the engine of our recovery, has helped depress the employment figures, and this miserable situation seems accepted far too easily by Government and its supporters. The Loan Support Guarantee Scheme which I and my colleagues have called for for so long should be introduced without delay to help speed improved prospects for small businesses, and with it better chances of employment for all".

The figures for all our local constituencies are listed below:

Bedford & Kempston 45.9% 36.6%
Hitchin & Harpenden 52.6% 54.2%
Huntingdon 61.8% 42.4%
Mid Bedfordshire 65.6% 57.2%
North East Bedfordshire 118.1% 51.7%
North East Hertfordshire 82.4% 52.0%