MP MICHAEL Dugher has welcomed the national fall in unemployment - but has highlighted that the figures show a very different picture in Barnsley.

The latest unemployment figures show that the total number of people claiming Jobs Seekers’ Allowance (JSA) in Barnsley has jumped to 7,880 – an increase of 6 per cent on the previous month and 13 per cent over the last two years.

Figures for youth unemployment and long-term youth unemployment in Barnsley are also up.

The number of 18-24 year olds claiming JSA in Barnsley is now 2,485 - up from 2,370 in December 2012.

More shocking is the number of 18-24 year olds claiming JSA for more than 12 months in Barnsley. That figure is now 530 - a massive increase of 194 per cent over the last two years.

''They should introduce a 'Compulsory Jobs Guarantee' - those who can work would be required to take up jobs, given training and time to job search - or they would lose their benefits. We simply cannot afford to let people languish on the dole for years on end.''