The figures speak for themselves. Whilst the headline figure claims that the number of unemployed people has fallen by 50,000, it takes seconds to discover an explanation for this.
According to this months Labour Force Survey:
“the number of self-employed people increased by 35,000 to reach 4.20 million
the number of unpaid family workers (people who work in a family business who do not receive a formal wage or salary but benefit from the profits of that business) increased by 2,000 to reach 112,000
the number of people on government supported training and employment programmes increased by 13,000 on the quarter to reach 158,000″
Which, if you add them up, comes to a round 50,000.
Self-employment and “government supported training and employment programmes” (otherwise known as workfare) have been behind much of the recent fall in unemployment. There is no evidence that all these new self-employed people are making any money and they may have just switched from Job Seekers Allowance to Working Tax Credits. Few will be earning enough to reach the magical sum of 35 hours a week at minimum wage. This will be the required earnings threshold for self-employed people when Universal Credit begins next year. Unfortunately no current statistics for Working Tax Credits exist.
Many unemployed people will not be included in the figures due to benefit sanctions or workfare on other government schemes which are not counted in the Labour Force Survey. Thousands of people have been bullied off benefits altogether.
Once again long term unemployment rose. There are now 13,000 more people who have been out of work over one year than in the previous period. Despite hundreds of millions being handed to Work Programme companies like A4e and G4S, the very problem they are being paid to solve is getting worse.
Unemployment is not falling and may even be getting worse no matter how much the DWP attempt to cook the books.