One third of jobless are under 24, figures reveal

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ALMOST one third of the people in Sheffield’s dole queue are aged between 18 and 24, grim new figures have revealed.

Those who are out-of-work and claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance in the city jumped by 1,071 in a month - up from 14,855 in December to 15,926 in January.

A total of 4,835 of claimants - or 30 per cent - are under 24.

The number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming jobless benefits in Sheffield increased by 315 between December to January.

Tory grandee Lord Heseltine - chairman of the committee which will decide how the government’s £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund should be used to create new jobs and boost economic growth - disclosed the government had received 56 bids from Yorkshire for money from the Regional Growth Fund.

But only £250m is available to the first round - a tenth of the £2.5bn bid for by a total of 464 applications.

The latest unemployment figures yesterday also showed relatively high levels of youth unemployment elsewhere in South Yorkshire.

There are 2,345 people aged between 18 and 24 in Barnsley on JSA - or 33.8 per cent of the total claimants in the town. Similarly, 2,465 of those on JSA in Rotherham are under 24, or 31.7 per cent.

In Doncaster there are 2,955 young people claiming jobless benefits, 31.4 per cent of the total number of claimants.

Youth unemployment rate nationally is now 20.5 per cent following a 66,000 increase to 965,000, the highest figures since records began in 1992.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour leader and Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband accused David Cameron of “betraying a whole generation of young people” by scrapping the previous administration’s Future Jobs Fund.

Mr Cameron said the jobless figures were “a matter of great regret”.