Karin Smyth MP shares concern over unemployment figures in south Bristol

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has highlighted her concern at this week’s unemployment figures as they show an annual increase in total unemployment.

In August 2023, there were 2,825 actual claimants in Bristol South constituency, which was 3.8% of the population aged 16-64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 3.7%.

Figures reveal that there were 550 claimants aged 18-24, which was 5.9% of the population aged 18-24. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 4.9%.

Over the past year the number of claimants has risen by 270 in the Bristol South constituency, as shown in Table 1. The table also shows changes over the last month and since March 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic affected the claimant count.

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:

“It’s concerning that across the UK employment fell by 0.5%. This is the biggest single fall in employment on record outside of a recession and shows that the jobs market is tightening at a time when people are seeking work. Sadly, this will bring with it concern to many at a time when bills increase due to utilities being used more and more.

“My particular concern is for our young people. Post-16 education, training and employment opportunities are not where they should be. Locally, we have seen one provider of A-Levels, the Merchant Academy, withdraw all A-Levels at very short notice putting additional pressures on our young people’s choice.

“I have made it my focus to improve the post-16 options for our young people with a particular focus on apprenticeships and education in trades. My annual South Bristol Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair with City of Bristol College aims to unlock the ambition of our young people. It’s vital that this trend for higher unemployment is stopped now before more people are locked out of jobs they desperately want.”