[un-allotted half day] — Unemployment

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 2:36 pm on 14th December 2011.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 2:36 pm, 14th December 2011

Let me repeat that when Labour was elected in 1997, youth unemployment was about 14%. It came down to about 12% before the recession and then, yes, of course it went up during the recession, as all unemployment did. But rather than sit there doing nothing, as this Government have over the past year and a half, we chose to act. That is why youth unemployment was coming down before the election and why, since this Government were elected, it has gone up to record highs and has done so again this morning. That is surely not a record of which the hon. Gentleman can be proud.