Newly appointed Minister of Death, Priti Patel, was allowed to write her first DWP press release this morning as labour market figures showed there were just 35,000 fewer unemployed people in the last three months. This is the smallest quarterly fall in unemployment in nearly two years, and it is not the only bad news for the DWP – amongst those born in the UK the number of people with jobs fell slightly.
Youth unemployment, for people between 18 and 24, also rose in the latest period, for the second quarter running. As did the number of hidden unemployed – people without a job who want one but are classed as ‘economically inactive’ rather than officially unemployed – which now stands at 2.298 million meaning the true number of unemployed people is 4.129 million.
The Claimant Count, which means the shrinking number of unemployed people who are still entitled to Jobseeker’s Allowance, fell by just 12,600, the smallest drop since March 2013. The ‘experimental claimant count’ however, which also includes unemployed people transferred onto Universal Credit, fell by just 6,500. The number of people claiming out of work sickness benefits rose by 5000 in the same period.
As ever, a large number of people who are officially employed are working part time – and the number of part time workers who want a full time job also rose in the latest period. There are also 105,000 people on “government supported training and employment programmes”, better known as workfare, who are classed as employed in the official statistics.
The s0-called jobs miracle on which the Tories based much of their election campaign was always largely a myth that was more down to a growing population that Iain Duncan Smith’s bungled welfare reforms. Today’s labour market figures suggest that even this may be coming to an end. What they also show, beyond doubt, is that with over 4 million people chasing 750,000 vacancies, there are still no fucking jobs.
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