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Jobless line '40 miles long'

THE number of unemployed young people in Scotland could form a line that stretches almost 40 miles, new research has claimed.

If the 64,000 16 to 24-year-olds in Scotland who are out of work all stood in line, it would be 38.5 miles long, according to figures from the House of Commons library.

The number of Scots of all ages who are out of work and claiming jobseeker's allowance could form a queue of about 53 miles in length: more than the distance from Glasgow to Edinburgh.

Across the UK, the 734,000 16 to 24-year-olds who are out of work - including those not eligible for benefits - could form a line about 434 miles long, the research suggested, more than the distance from Edinburgh to London.

The research was released to coincide with a new cross-party parliamentary group at Westminster on youth unemployment.

Chair of the group Pamela Nash, the Airdrie and Shotts Labour MP, said: "When you consider that if all the unemployed people on the dole in Scotland stood in a straight line they'd reach from Glasgow to Edinburgh, and the young unemployed in that line would be able to reach from George Square to Airdrie; then you'd be as shocked as I was to discover that there was not a single cross-party group in Westminster or Holyrood looking at tackling this issue.

Official figures recently revealed Scotland had seen the biggest annual increase in employment in Scotland for almost seven years, with 2,556,000 people in the last three months of 2013.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said it was a "demonstration" of their commitment to creating jobs and boosting the economy.

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