UK unemployment rate could 'trigger social unrest'

 

By Telegraph Jobs’ editor, Louisa Peacock. 

A report this week by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) says that the large long-term unemployment rate in the UK could result in “huge economic and social costs”.  It warns that Britain faces another summer of “unjustified” riots from demoralised young people who have lost faith in government and believe austerity measures are unfair.

One third of unemployed Britons have been out of work for 12 months or more, the latest official figures show. Long-term unemployment is at a 16-year high, reaching 883,000 in the three months to February, while more than one in five young people are without jobs.

The UK is among five developed countries highlighted by the ILO which face increased social unrest, due to worrying levels of long-term unemployment. The other countries are Denmark, Ireland, Spain and America.

Raymond Torres, author of the report, said: “When people are out of work for more than a year they become demoralised, lose self-esteem and drop out of the labour market. These are individual effects but at some point it leads to anger with everything and with authority. This is very worrying.”

He said that Britain returning to recession meant austerity measures were not working. “There was a belief that austerity would reassure the markets, which would lead to jobs and recovery. But this is not the case and confidence has not recovered.”

While last year’s riots were “unjustified”, how people respond to the continued economic downturn and its effect on their lives was “unpredictable”, he said, adding the UK Government should prepare for a repeat of scenes from last year’s riots which swept the country.

Targeted protests, from militant groups such as Occupy, could also increase through social networking, he said.

Mr Torres also warned a heightened sense of socio-economic insecurity - and potential unrest - was evident across other advanced economies globally, not just those suffering from high long-term unemployment.

 

This article was originally featured on telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

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UK unemployment rate could 'trigger social unrest'