Unemployment Is Not Falling, Don’t Believe the Hype

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.

32 responses to “Unemployment Is Not Falling, Don’t Believe the Hype

  1. Same situation in Germany. More than a million unemployed Germans either on workfare (Ein Euro Job) or on schemes or unter Sanktionen.

    There is only one kind of neo-liberal nastiness and it’s spread from one edge of Europe to the other.

  2. You can go to any Jobcentre in the UK and they will all tell you unemployment is getting worse not better and the DWP are in fantasyland.

    The idiot at the DWP (Iain Duncan Smith) needs to be sacked for refusing to be moved from that department in the re-shuffle and Cameron seems to be going along with it, IDS must think he’s untouchable now.

    I want to see IDS roasted in a parliamentary questions board regarding his systematic persecution of anyone on any kind of benefit, because THIS IS his personal agenda. One man should not be given that much power – ever.

    What goes around comes around, and when it’s his turn, I hope he suffers.

  3. Expect another U-turn soon as chasing people for 20/30 quid a week is not going to fill any black-hole.

  4. Pingback: Government Manages To Manufacture Falling Unemployment Stats, But Not In Birmingham… | Birmingham Against The Cuts

  5. I’ve said for a while the job seekers allowance sanctions are a very handy way of hiding the unemployed.
    There must be thousands of people at any one time being suspended.

    Not to mention all the people being thrown off ESA or Incapacity Benefit. Where are those people going? Into thin air?

  6. The government is putting thousands upon thousands of unemployed on the Work Programme, this makes them disappear from the claimant count, but they still claim Jobseekers Allowance – that’s why the unemployment figures have gone down – it’s just another fiddle by a government that lies to the taxpayer.

  7. I didn’t believe it in the first place, they use every dirty sneaky trick in the book to massage the figures. Who is to prove or disprove them anyway?? they know we can’t. They have always used such things as “work programmes” etc to show the figures are down.
    Scameron lives up to his name

  8. Of course the Tories were lying last time they inflicted mass unemployment on the country:
    The recent release of documents from 1981 has exposed some of the deceit of that time. The Financial Times revealed that Chancellor Geoffrey Howe proposed massaging unemployment figures to keep the figure below 3m as jobless levels grew to almost three times that of the Winter of Discontent two years earlier.
    In a series of exchanges with Margaret Thatcher the Chancellor proposed 2.9m as the unemployment forecast for 1982-3, while admitting the Treasury’s actual figures suggested it would be 3.1m – 3.2m.

    “Obviously we should prefer to avoid publishing…a figure of over 3m,” he said, adding that 2.9m was the lowest figure they could publish and still remain “credible”.

    He exercised similar creativity with the inflation forecast, proposing 10 per cent, even though that was “at the bottom end” of the Treasury’s internal forecasts.

    A response from Mrs Thatcher’s advisers noted approvingly that Mr Howe had accepted the need to balance credibility with political expediency but urged that he go further still, particularly as earnings and inflation figures would be seized on by public sector unions pushing for higher settlements.
    A hand-written note from the prime minister said she shared those “worries” and proposed publishing even lower figures than those Mr Howe suggested.

  9. Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    So the drop in the headline figure of unemployment, by 50,000 – that David Cameron so enjoyed in Prime Minister’s Questions today (Wednesday) – is mostly due to Workfare.
    I think the Comedy Prime Minister needs to apologise to Ed Miliband.

  10. Tractor production has increased by 100% in Eastern Siberia… in other news… unemployment is falling…

  11. What’s it with the (subtle) shift from “number of unemployed” to the “number in employment” (“the highest since records began). Have the “unemployed” been cast off, no longer count, ear-marked for extermination?

  12. The weisman report on the Russia Today news on tv yesterday, called David Cameron a ‘ corrupt scumbag’ for not letting Scotland yard prosecute on fraud charges those in the financial services that had created the recession . This goes to prove that it is not only in the unemployment figures he shows his corruption, his whole cabinet are corrupt.

  13. Work it out correctly

    Except those on back to work programmes are still counted as unemployed as they are still receiving full benefit and are therefore counted as unemployed, and those that are sanctioned are still on the receiving benefits list – it is a different ‘destination’ than signed off benefits, so your methodology is incorrect.

    • only some of those on back to work programmes are still counted as unemployed, some are not. am in touch with the ONS to find out which ones.

      sanctioned claimants may or may not be included in the claimant count, or the LFS – it depends if the claim remains live, many do not, and on the answers they give to LFS questions.

      neither of these are relevant to the 50,000 headline figure.

    • “Work it out Correctly”, You are very disagreeable arent you? DWP employee?
      Sanctions are a very big reason the claimant count has fallen, as those sanctioned are left with no money and disqualified from JSA, although they are still expected to sign on and show evidence of jobsearch. Now if a person is sanctioned they will not be able to afford to get to the jobcentre and will be then effectively signed off, and the claim closed, but the sanction staying on the system for the duration in case the claimant tries to sign back on before the sanction period ends.
      With the increased duration of sanctions from next Monday, even more people will fall off the claimant count when sanctioned as they will just not be bothered to go back to the jobcentre and keep signing on if they aren’t getting any money for it.
      When the Universal Credit comes in with its even harsher conditionality, even more people will be sanctioned for even longer periods, so the claimant count will plummet, and IDS will be seen as a hero by the gullible Tory voters. Meanwhile, these people who have been santioned wont actually be in work, they will be begging, stealing and borrowing from who they can to survive, which usually means turning to family for support, or ending up in prison for crimes commited to be able to just survive.

      IDS has deliberately set out to use sanctions as the main means of reducing the claimant count, and making the sanctions easier and easier to apply to people, the number of claimants sanctioned has increased 5 fold since the Tories and IDS came to power.
      Explain why this is so? – Why have sanctions increased by such a massive factor?

      • Work it out correctly

        This is completely incorrect. Sanction rates are a very small proportion of benefit recipients. You need to prove any allegations you make in your argument.

    • “working it out correctly” is “The Voice” of ID fame back from the dead. Why can’t you just fuck off and die! Give us peace ffs!

    • @ Work it out correctly Fuck Off! Cunt!

  14. something survived...

    When anyone goes onto workfare, work programme, work scheme, new deal, or has a sanction, the DWP record it as a job created. Also for anyone switching to disability benefits unable to work. Also for temporary/agency work even if you are sacked or ‘let go’ within minutes, or a ‘job’ lasting only a day or less.

    Probably closer to 4 or 5 million unemployed people in UK. More if you count students, the so-called ‘NEETS’, people on disability benefits, older people in the age groups that will soon be expected to work, and the underemployed; also many immigrants, homeless people and undocumented people. Officially a ‘housewife’ or ‘househusband’ or a carer, is also ‘unemployed’. Also people in jail etc don’t count, and the people in hospital or similar places. (“What do you mean you’ve broken your back? Get up that ladder you lazy scrounger!”) And single/poor parents, increasingly being told to work. (Though no affordable fulltime childcare, usually – so then you are ‘neglecting’ or ‘abandoning’ your kids and they can be taken into care. Where they could be abused, messed up mentally, or raised in the wrong religion/culture/diet etc.)

    But for all the ‘unemployed’, there are only a few jobs.
    At college somebody there has been ordered to be put onto JSA, and apply for permanent jobs starting now, even though she’s a single mother
    and about to have another baby! Someone else (two people and the tutor)
    said “There is absolutely no way I (or anyone else) would employ you.”
    (Of course, the poor are now going to be PUNISHED for being turned down for jobs, even jobs they hadn’t an icicle’s chance in a blast furnace of getting. It’s not inconceivable that they could order even a NEET with a drug habit and shoplifting/ramraiding convictions, to apply for a job as a brain surgeon, so that he doesn’t get it, and then they punish him for not getting it. Like the jobcentre for the last 2 months sending people who were male to apply for female-only jobs in security guarding companies.)

    I said to the single mother, “This week there is a new job for HGV lorry drivers, you should apply!” (joke)

    Every other Monday I have to go to my city’s jobcentre for a whole day, then most of the Wednesday 2 days later at Work Programme doing the same identical jobsearch from the Monday, till I get told to leave ‘because it is staff lunch’ (no help then doing the ’35-40 hours a week jobsearch’ we are soon going to have to do) [AND none of their machines actually allows you to ‘log jobsearches’, as per Universal Credit requirements.] or because the computers break down.
    {I got in trouble when they and the jobcentre closed because of power cuts. Also they say you must attend WP no matter how bad the weather, how ill you are, or if anything has ‘come up’. So the last 2 years when it was snow and ice everywhere I had to go there, it is 2 miles, and it was closed! But they still made me go there to the door then turn round and go back in the dark. I was also sick and also injured from several falls on the ice previously. IDS: “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. Hopefully lots of poor and old and disabled people, preferably brown skinned ones, will die this winter from cold, hunger, exposure after being thrown on the streets, or falling on the ice on the way to my Work Programme. Or just fall in a very deep snowdrift so I don’t have to look at them or think about them any more. The more of them that die, the more taxpayers’ money I can pinch for myself and my friends so we can have bigger dinners and work even less! “}

    Every time Work Programme says : They can’t be bothered to actually do the stuff they are being PAID to do so are sending me away so they can have an uninterrupted lunch/because the computers broke yet again; they send me for several more pointless and exhausting days of jobsearch standing at jobpoint machines all day. It’s news to the jobcentre staff and security guards, who often ask why I am there not on a signing-on day (despite the thing in their own Jobseekers’ Agreement that says I’m meant to go to jobcentres several days a week), or ask me to leave. They haven’t heard anything from the Work Programme about it. Then the staff when I DO sign on, say ‘we believe you are not attending Work Programme’ even when I prove I’m at every session, or ‘you are not engaging with the programme’. It now appears what they are referring to is the fact I’m too disabled to even be FORCED to go on WP’s *ONLY* main work placement (the other is for mostly-female learning disability people, mental health patients, and ‘NEET/longterm-unemployed single mothers’ only and is in staffing a bail hostel for dangerous male offenders, with no training: a dangerous and crazy job even difficult for most trained healthy ablebodied males. AND it counts as ‘part time’. Apparently the bail hostel found out that by sacking a lot of paid staff it could replace them with untrained slave labour from Workfare for free, and save loads of money; and as a bonus they do not count as ‘people’ or ‘workers’ or ’employees’ so they do not have rights, unions, time off, sickness pay, health and safety issues, insurance, etc.).
    The Work Placement the Jobcentre wants the Work Programme to send me on, is for construction workers on a building site, (Workfare crews demolished my own students’ union; to be replaced by a new arts complex that will be unaffordable to students/locals/the poor and will lack a students union or disabled access. Also destroyed 90% of the 200 year old forest and park that was there, to be replaced by a tiny landscaped area with a few token trees – and flights of steps nobody in a wheelchair can use.), mainly in manual asbestos removal, gloves not provided!!!! Even the people who made it onto this placement are now sitting around doing nothing, as it’s stalled due to running out of funding.

    The JCP say I should be on a placement by now. The WP, still being paid, say they only have that placement (the mickey mouse job). I tell JCP. Also that it’s stalled. They say WP must put me on the list for it anyway. WP say there is no way they can put me on the list for it for whenever it restarts, as I’m too disabled to work on a building site. So I get sent round and round in circles. Then JCP says they want to punish me because WP won’t put me on even the reserve list (to be recruited-from when people are sacked on workfare). One JCP person wanted me on another PART TIME scheme (they are meant to send you full time), where males are trained in Bricklaying and females in Hairdressing! When I said it is only for people aged 16-24 the JCP wanted me to change my date of birth to 1990 so I could become 22 and eligible to be a Bricklayer for 2 years! In other words fraud! My year of birth is 1977! Would they say it to somebody born in 1967? 1957?
    And there is the small matter of the fact that unless somebody only wanted EXTREMELY low walls, like the sort you could just step over, after just a few rows I would have to climb up a ladder, see below why that is not a good idea. Maybe I could only build walls in creches, but there are hardly any left open now, and I’m not meant to go near kids in case they all turn into biker bears and diesel dykes… if the imagination of such organisations is to be trusted.
    So the JCP insisted I should be put on basically active duty on the placement as a construction worker. I, and the WP, told them I’m too disabled.

    Where to begin?
    -Do not have CSCS qualification and do not fulfil the medical requirements for going on a course. (They were talking of sending me with no training or course.)
    -The UK’s smallest size of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) available is far too big. Including safety boots, gloves, etc. It is too UNSAFE as, if worn too big, it’s a hazard,
    -Too small, thin, light, short. No body fat, easily get hypothermia.
    -Ill with recurrent infections due to immune system problems; also multiple allergic. Ill with some or other bug for most of the year. Become too cold to work in minutes.
    -Bad back, spine problems, numbness. Often can go totally numb with no warning, not good if climbing something or carrying something. Unstable spine. Can’t wear regular harness due to circulation/numbness.
    Circulation problems and feet painful/swollen all winter.
    -Underweight, malnourished. Too poor to get food. Eat a tiny meal once every few days. (Not being offered more money for food though, or for the physical work involved!)
    -Epilepsy, dizziness, blackouts, low blood pressure, blood pressure crashes. Don’t like heights, get vertigo too. Not meant to climb ladders.
    -Tired all the time due to lack of food, overwork, ME/CFS. And stress.
    Bullied by housemates;effectively a slave, doing all the housework and cleaning and recycling/bins, the equivalent of another fulltime job. ALSO volunteer worker as well, and disabled athlete (get minimal sleep).
    -Dyscalculia and dyspraxia. Memory problems from being kicked in the head in major assault.
    -Lung and breathing problems, kidney problems, endocrine system problems. Can’t lift weights.
    -When I have a major seizure I can then sleep for hours. I can’t predict when/where I’ll be okay on any given day. (hence missing signing on, college, work programme, etc.)
    -Other conditions.

    So if I told the truth nobody normal would hire me for their building site,
    -so the jobcentre want me to lie I have no health issues or disabilities. How do they expect me to hide my size though? That, and the fact I am obviously unwilling, makes me REALLY unlikely as a candidate.

    Then twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays I am meant to go to to a place 40 minutes away by bus, to visit an employment agency, and to do jobsearch on an ‘external machine’. This machine came up this week with ‘local jobs’ in LONDON, HULL, and GERMANY.
    The JCP machine in the main place, is really exhausting to stand at all day. I’m just tall enough to be able to see the screen at the right angle, any shorter and the angle would be wrong. You would be able to see the screen but not read it because it’s only readable at some angles. A wheelchair user can’t use jobpoint machines or the JCP phones. If you are really short, you can’t either.
    At the end of the day you are stiff with aching and pulled muscles, cramps, etc. like doing a long distance run. They don’t let you go to a toilet no matter how desperate/disabled you are.

    None of the staff would do this, so why do it to you?

    Before they banned making it compulsory to apply, they were telling people to be Escorts, pole dancers, strippers and nude/life models. Or to work in sex shops. Now it says there is no obligation to apply.
    There WASN’T one on the previous week, they told me to join the army! As they are complete illiterate divs, in JCP, they again missed that the maximum age was 24 for the privates being recruited and 32 for main jobs, 34 for officers. So in other words I am 1 year too old for the maximum age. AND I am ineligible, can’t take the oath, can’t pass the test, under the minimum height by a long way, fail on multiple medical grounds, anarchist, pacifist, teetotal, vegetarian, not into hanging around in macho racist violent bigot type environments.

    Years ago (since I used to be a gardener) I applied to be an unpaid gardener at a garden that is now a visitor attraction. I had better general health than now, and said I could start when I recovered after hospital. The boss was happy to hire me. I was going to contact him to work out what month to start work. Then the Jobcentre got involved. They banned me from working there or even contacting him. They threatened to prosecute him for saying he’d hire me! Apparently they had no charitable status. Now they do, they say ‘it is not on our list of places we will allow people to work’. In the intervening years my health got worse, so I’m not sure if I could do the job now.

    Lots of people were sent to apply for the lorry driving job and for one 100 miles east (with no transport links) manual handling and personal care for a disabled man. The people sent included disabled people and those too old (or not good eyesight) for HGV driving.
    Maybe the blind should be ‘hole finders’ (Walk along until you fall down a hole!), the single mum about to give birth should do assault courses under fire for the Army, the old people should all be pole dancers,
    anyone convicted of harming children should be sent to work in childcare. People with brain damage can be brain surgeons, the brain surgeons can be sacked and made to sweep the streets. People on chemotherapy can be sent to clean blocked toilets with their bare hands.
    (Sorry, they did stuff like this in the ‘re-education programmes’ in postrevolution China and Russia with intellectuals, Jews, ‘rich peasants’ and anyone higher up.) Anyone with a degree even a first class one, should be sent to stack shelves. If you have left school with no qualifications you can go to work in a call centre for JCP to kick people off benefits. (Until they replace you with a robot and you then have to phone a machine which will decide who gets their dole stopped.)
    If you are a wheelchair user with brittle bones, the perfect job for you would be using a pneumatic drill to dig up the road. If you have no hands or no arms even: touch typist. If you have only limited movement of your head ‘licking stamps’ is one they actually suggested.

    Competition: Find the best possible job for a bedbound unconscious person who has passed most definitions of death but is barely alive in a Persistent Vegetative State and with major brain damage, and on life support machines.

    -Premier League Footballer
    -Pole dancer
    -Lorry driver
    -Fairground attraction
    -Member of the Government

  15. Steven2011@lavabit.com

    The real unemployment figure is anything from 3.5 million to as many as 9 million (the last figure is the number of ‘economically inactive’). To cut a long story short, this shambles of a ‘government’ is systimatically LYING about unemployment and every government since Mrs Thatcher’s has done so. I personally think the TUC’s claim of 6.3 million is nearest the truth.

  16. Pingback: Unemployment Is Not Falling, Don’t Believe the Hype | Mental Health, Politics and LGBT issues | Scoop.it

  17. Just wanted to correct my error on my last posting the Russia today programme report was called the Keiser report not the weisman report,
    love all the bloggs and comments.

  18. At the risk of being called a user of godwins law..Before the crash, 1.25 million people were unemployed in Germany. By the end of 1930 the figure had reached nearly 4 million, 15.3 per cent of the population. Even those in work suffered as many were only working part-time. – the Nazis set up the SdA (Beauty of Work) to help Germans see that work was good, and that everyone who could work should. In fact – because the Nazis had abolished the trade unions, banned strikes, and given more power to the industrialists – real wages fell and hours were longer under Hitler. Sound familiar

  19. United StereoTypes of Unemployment (U.S.T.U)

    Crime against adults has also fallen.

    Where do the Government get their figures from?

  20. Landless Peasant

    Yeah, it’s bullshit. I signed-on yesterday and the Jobcentre was jam packed. The lying bastards don’t mention how many have been forced off JSA onto Hardship.

  21. What with the fiddling of unemployment figures, the withdrawal of jsa on jumped up charges, the withdrawal of housing benefits for those under 25 or with extra bedrooms, why have we not heard anything from organizations like human rights watch, because the coalitions policies towards the poorest in society are inhumane? Why does someone not start a new political party that really does want fairness in society instead of listening to the claptrap churned out from the likes of the 3 main political parties and politics programmes such as the bbc politics shows which think it is fair that those who earn high wages should also access state handouts. I do not believe they will be withdrawing child benefit for the rich without putting some loophole in place for them within the tax system. The whole differentials in earnings is what is unfair, a person on a full-time low wage works just as hard if not harder than the pampered pooches in their grandoise offices who get the jobs more through social connections than hard work, the plebities with high qualifications are usually employed in an inferior position to the socialites. The upper class miss oakshott on todays sunday politics from the bbc while speaking of the rich stated, “whats the point of having your cake if you can’t eat it.” Sums up the whole of the ethos of greed and selfishness behind the whole of the upper classes and also the aspiring middle class who are nothing but working class turncoats.

  22. Pingback: Huge Numbers on Workfare Mask True Unemployment Crisis | the void

  23. Pingback: Unemployment Is Not Falling, Don’t Believe the Hype | The Thurrock Heckler

  24. Why are people believing the blatant in your faceTory lies that unemployment is falling? What we are seeing here is what is called priming. There is an election just around the corner. The tories know that they simply haven’t a chance of getting back in so they’ve started early with their brain washing propoganda via lying scum media and fiddled figures.

    JSA claimants sanctioned and other people being cheated out of their benefits. A few crappy part time jobs created. Oh, look there’s a job 15 hours a week.

    As the election gets closer watch out for more lies about our flatlining economy growing, unemployment falling and the sad fact is people will be brainwashed!

    Why don’t they just hold their hands up and admit. Unemployment is sky high they haven’t got an clue how to get jobs back. In other words they’re incompetent! But why do that when it’s easier to shift the blame off onto the most vunerable of the population, the unemployed. Then demonise them through programs on the tv calling them lazy scroungers. Talk about smoke and mirrors.

    Then you make a few benefit related programs on TV with some of the countries dodgiest scrotes + script it, and edit it for the greatest impact, and bob’s your uncle people are going around repeating phrases such as.. ‘ bloody benefit scroungers get a job’. Talk about divide and rule! Oh, and a year or so later benefit cuts come into play and surprise surprise joe public all supports the governments policies! Allowing them to glide through parliment unaposed!

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