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House of Lords written question – answered on 6th June 2011.

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Photo of Lord Sharkey Lord Sharkey Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the analysis by the TUC of the regional unemployment figures published on 18 May.

Photo of Lord Freud Lord Freud The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

A snapshot of the number of unfilled Jobcentre Plus vacancies will understate the opportunities available to benefit claimants because it misses the new vacancies that are coming up and being filled all the time, as well as vacancies available in the wider local labour market or advertised through other recruitment channels.

However, the Government recognise that in many local communities across the country there remain pockets of entrenched worklessness made worse by benefit dependency and, in some cases, too narrow a base of private sector jobs. Only by tackling the deficit, reforming welfare, improving the competitiveness of the economy and encouraging the growth of new businesses will it be possible to achieve the lasting growth in wealth and jobs that these communities need.

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