More than five people are chasing every vacancy

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WIGAN is the third hardest place to get a job in Greater Manchester according to the latest figures.

Union leaders say the figures reflect a national jobs “crisis” – and have urged chancellor George Osborne to take action in next week’s budget.

The figures, compiled by Unison, compare the number of registered jobseekers with roles advertised in their local jobcentres.

Wigan has 5.7 people chasing every vacancy - the third highest number in the 10 local authorities of Greater Manchester.

Across the county there is an average of 4.7 people on unemployment benefit for every job – ranging from 1.7 in Trafford to 9.9 in Tameside.

The Government says the figures are misleading, since people often move out of their home borough to find work in neighbouring areas.

Meanwhile, it notes only Jobcentre jobs have been used to calculate the figures, missing out those advertised elsewhere, and stresses overall unemployment is falling.

But Kevan Nelson, regional secretary for Unison North West, said its survey proves ministers must change their approach.

He said: “The scale of the ongoing jobs crisis is deeply worrying. Three long years of cuts – with more to come – and still there are not enough jobs to go around.

“The Government has got it wrong on the recession and it has sacrificed our recovery.

“As well as laying waste to our public services, cuts have a stranglehold on the private sector. The Government does have a choice: use the budget to outline the bold strategy for jobs and growth that we so desperately need in the North West.”

He said public sector workers need a “decent” pay rise in order to boost spending, adding: “The most damaging thing the government could do is to plough on regardless with its reckless anti-growth, no hope, cuts strategy.”

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “This research doesn’t mention that despite tough economic times a record number of people are in work, the private sector has created 1m jobs since 2010 and unemployment is falling. With 500,000 vacancies last quarter there are jobs out there but we’re not complacent and Jobcentre Plus is working hard to make sure jobseekers have the right skills and experience to get into work.”