Long Term Unemployment Soars – The Work Programme Isn’t Working

Despite Iain Duncan Smith’s multi-billion pound Work Programme and extensive DWP book cooking, today’s labour market figures reveal that long term unemployment is soaring.

Approaching three quarters of a billion pounds has already been handed out to Work Programme contractors – like fraud ridden A4e or the inept G4S – with the aim of finding jobs for those out of work over 12 months.  Despite this vast sum, long term unemployment has steadily risen even whilst unemployment overall has allegedly been falling.

The number of people out of work for 12 months rose by 22,000 in the three months to July reaching 904,000, whilst the number out of work over two years increased by 9000 to 443,000.

Two measures are used to calculate unemployment.  The Labour Force Survey is a national household survey recording employment details whilst the Claimant Count is the number of people who are currently claiming the unemployment benefit Job Seekers Allowance.  Recent revelations have shown that many people currently on workfare schemes are not included in the Labour Force Survey unemployment figures, whilst those who have had benefits sanctioned are not included in the Claimant Count.

The clueless DWP claim they don’t know how many people are currently on workfare, but it is known that over half a million Job Seekers Allowance claims have been sanctioned in the last year.  Therefore any reported drop in the Claimant Count, which fell by 15,000 according to today’s figures, must take this into account.

The Government have claimed that soaring long term unemployment is down to a change in the way figures are recorded.  Previously those who had attended welfare to work schemes were taken out of the unemployment figures and started life as new claimants once the scheme had ended.  According to the Office for National Statistics, Work Programme participants are ‘more likely’ to stay in the Job Seekers Allowance figures throughout the Work Programme, meaning less people are recorded as new claimants when in reality they are anything but.

It is of course true that Labour were cooking the books.  The phrase ‘more likely’ suggests the Tories are as well, just perhaps not by as much.  What they don’t say is that the hundreds of thousands of people who have had Job Seekers Allowance stopped due to benefit sanctions are counted as newly unemployed once the benefit restarts – a fact recently confirmed to me by the Office for National Statistics.

So the Tories are cooking the books as well, just in a different way to the last government.

And even if they weren’t, and they are, long term unemployment is still soaring.  The headline figure, which reveals that 21,000 more people have now been unemployed for over 12 months, relates to the Labour Force Survey figures, not the Claimant Count.  In fact the number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance for over 12 months only rose by about 5000 in the same period.

There have been attempts to portray Iain Duncan Smith as a friend of the poor with claims that he is bravely holding out against George Osborne’s brutal cost cutting agenda.  But IDS doesn’t want more money for benefit claimants, the families who’ve had benefits sanctioned queuing up outside foodbanks are testament to that.  Iain Duncan Smith simply wants even more money to pursue out of touch and ill thought out schemes like the Work Programme and Universal Credit.

£5 billion is set to be doled out to private companies running the Work Programme, whilst billions more is to be squandered on Universal Credit.  Neither of these initiatives will help those with least, in fact quite the opposite.  All the poorest will get is forced labour on the Work Programme and benefit sanctions under the endlessly complex new rules to be introduced with Universal Credit.

IDS is pissing away billions on his increasingly hare-brained schemes, which will do little more than plunge millions into poverty.  Nothing the clueless Secretary of State has claimed about his daft ideas has even come close to manifesting in reality, yet still more and more money is pumped his way.

Rarely has a government department gambled so much on a single politician’s delusions.  And even when those gambles clearly aren’t paying off, no-one in either the DWP or the Cabinet is brave enough to call an end to the shambles.  There will surely come a time when Iain Duncan Smith’s political careers lies in ruins due to his recklessness.  The tragedy is that he intends to drag what remains of the welfare state and the millions of people who depend on it into the shit with him.

13 responses to “Long Term Unemployment Soars – The Work Programme Isn’t Working

  1. Pingback: Long Term Unemployment Soars – The Work Programme Isn’t Working | Social Welfare News | Scoop.it

  2. Not even IDS gives a fuck about losin his job for one simple reason, These bastards are rewarded for FAILURE and he like his capitalists chums will always be quids in no matter what

  3. Pingback: Long Term Unemployment Soars – The Work Programme Isn’t Working | Mental Health, Politics and LGBT issues | Scoop.it

  4. Iain Duncan Smith is a Cunt

    Fuck this Nazi bastard!

  5. Not just IDS, but the whole cabinet and government are peddling a very divisive agenda. They had the deserving poor and the un-deserving poor but know all pretence that
    ‘we are all in this together’ is gone. This government will keep expensive things which will not help a single British soldier like Trident and foreign engagements where they have tours of duty.
    Cameron can say we are so good giving 0.7 of or GDP in aid but who does that money really help. Most likely it is some corrpt dictators slush fund!

  6. I hate Tory tossers

    As soon as the Community action programme (CAP) starts next year, most of the long term unemployed (including me) will just sign off and find other ways to survive – even if this means breaking the law. Who the hell is gonna work 40 hours a week for £70 JSA (30 hrs on community service and 10 hours on mandatory jobsearch a week).
    I am on the last stage of the work programme (weeks 56 – 100) and after this I will be expected to do indefinite servitude by IDS. How this will massage the figures? miraculously the number of long term unemployed will fall through the floor as everyone on the CAP either gets sanctioned for refusing to do it, or just signs off before it starts. This is the idea – it was successful in the States, and IDS wants it here too.
    Work programme wise I am now with Shaw Trust, and have this Scouser in my face the second I walk in the door, going on and on and on about apply for this apply for that, apply for hidden jobs – we get a copy of the yellow pages and told to phone through it asking if there are any jobs. Of course we get constantly reminded about the consequences of failure to comply with every form that has to be signed going on about sanctions, sanctions, and more sanctions. Shaw Trust, Inspire2independence, JHP, All4Emma – they are all the same – make your life miserable, demand you go in every other day, constantly piling the pressure on that you arent trying hard enough or applying for enough jobs – or that you are failing to engage with the programme and show willing and positive attitude, and threatening sanctions for so much as breathing.
    Wonderful, not.

    • I am well into my 2nd year at a4e. They havent called me once about a job, my adviser is now forwarding emails from the job centre that got sent to him, so really he isnt doing any work. I have noticed that my interviews with him, are getting shorter and shorter, 15 minutes on tuesday,

  7. Pingback: Workfare Must Not Lead to a Job Say Guidelines | the void

  8. Pingback: Long Term Unemployment Soars – The Work Programme Isn’t Working | SteveB's Politics & Economy Scoops | Scoop.it

  9. Pingback: 2012: A Year of Lies and Blunders at the DWP Part 2 | the void

  10. Joseph Ridgwell

    is it any wonder man turns to art michael fitzgerald

  11. Pingback: Up Yours: Benefit uprating & the Westminster consensus of cruelty « Media Darlings

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