YOUTH unemployment in Neath has been labelled “dreadful” by the town’s MP.
Peter Hain said a third of unemployed people in Neath are between the age of 18 and 24.
Youth unemployment in the town also accounts for 34.6 per cent of all unemployment, which is much higher than the UK figure — which is 25.1 per cent.
In March 1,500 claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance in Neath — 520 of these people were aged between 18 and 24.
In the age group of 25-49, a total of 704 claimed the allowance, and 235 who are aged 50 and over claimed.
New figures show that the unemployment rate is now 6.8 per cent in Wales, which is below 6.9 per cent for the UK as a whole.
But Mr Hain said the plight of young jobless people in Neath is still “dreadful”.
He said: “It is worrying that such a large percentage of overall unemployment is youth unemployment in Neath.
“These youngsters are entering the work market at an exceptionally difficult time and what they are experiencing now is seriously undermining their confidence.
“More needs to be done to tackle this problem before our youngsters become a lost generation.
“The government are being incredibly complacent as they boast about small falls in unemployment.”