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More jobs, but squeeze continues

Stephanie Flanders | 10:51 UK time, Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The fall in the claimant count is welcome, but the best news in today's labour market figures is that the economy created a lot more jobs than it lost in the three months to May.

Job Centre PlusEmployment rose by 160,000 - the largest rise in nearly four years.

But, as we've come to expect in this recovery, the rise was entirely due to a big rise in part-time work and self-employment. The number of full-time employees fell by 22,000, to 18.20m.

The other stand-out figure for me - and perhaps the Bank of England - is the figure for earnings growth. Pay, excluding bonuses, rose by just 1.4% year-on-year in May, the lowest rate since the end of last year. That's a 2% real pay cut at a time when the annual rate of CPI inflation was 3.4%.

As we know, things have been even tougher for private sector workers. Earnings in that part of the economy rose by just 0.6% year-on-year in May, though the average over the quarter was a bit better.

The Bank has rightly been concerned about rising inflation expectations. But even if people are expecting prices to rise at a higher rate than in the past, there is little evidence in these figures that workers can expect higher pay to compensate.

The bottom line is that UK households are still seeing a significant squeeze in living standards as a result of the financial crisis, even if more people than expected have found paying work.

And, lest we forget, the squeeze from higher taxes and lower public spending has barely begun.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Surely pay rises should be earnt and not be automatic? This incessant rise of the pay packet irrespective of growth has become an insideous part of British culture and should be stopped before it overwhelms what's left of our meritocracy.

  • Comment number 2.

    Pay, excluding bonuses

    You need to watch out for that: I have seen evidence that middle managers are raiding the bonus pot for staff so they can tell senior managers they have kept nominal pay rises down. Obviously a one-off measure, but could it have skewed the numbers?

  • Comment number 3.

    Welcomed news for sure on Job vacancies. However, less good is the increases seen in senior Directors pay which increases the gap between rich and poor.

    If plc Directors continue to think they are not "all in this together" this country has a problem as these same directors will continue to push prices up as service and general wage levels fall.

  • Comment number 4.

    Given that bosses' pay reputedly rose by 7%, excluding bonuses, last year does that mean that any actual worker got a pay rise in the private sector? I know nobody in the company I work for got one.

  • Comment number 5.

    And of course if in aggregate pay rises fall behind inflation then less real stuff is bought as a consequence - unless people start hitting their credit cards again.

    Along with the export boom, this is all a massive fallacy of composition.

    This deleveraging has a way to go yet.

  • Comment number 6.

    1. how do you know people aren't 'earning' a pay rise???

    Over worked, under paid, funding lazy benefit claimants.....
    ...man, I love this place.

  • Comment number 7.

    "The bottom line is that UK households are still seeing a significant squeeze in living standards as a result of the financial crisis, even if more people than expected have found paying work."

    while the rich get richer at a faster rate than ever. 13 years of labour and the disparity between rich and poor is greater than ever. thanks tony, thanks gordon. Apparently Brown may be off to the IMF. They deserve one another.

  • Comment number 8.

    Stephanie

    'And, lest we forget, the squeeze from higher taxes and lower public spending has barely begun.'

    Exactly!

    Meaning most job statistics today will look very rosy once the proverbial hits the fan.

    A £156Billion deficit to be reversed - We are going nowhere downhill!

  • Comment number 9.

    antonT - "automatic" pay rises can stop when inflation is zero percent - but as all economists agree that zero inflation is not a good thing then pay rises to compensate are right and proper.
    Why should workers whose activities generate whatever profits a company makes see their standard of living fall because inflation is constantly with us, especially as almost all profits made will be creamed off by management and the indolent shareholders?
    If a company is doing well, as the company that I work for is: hitting all targets and nearly doubling gross margin year on year, why shouldn't the workforce expect a better than inflation pay increase? After no pay increase last year the minimum I expect this year is 5% for inflation and catch up.

  • Comment number 10.

    It would be useful to see where this jobs growth actually is, region by region.
    Also, which industries are hiring?
    How permanent are these jobs?

    Any one got a reference?

    I an pleased for those who are now in employment; I hope I am wrong, but I suspect this is a false dawn. Employment numbers may go up for a couple of months, but as the public sector cuts bite, I suspect the figures to reverse rapidly.

  • Comment number 11.

    Two deductions if pay rising are less than the CPI inflation:
    1. Profit margins are probably rising, and
    2. Wage earners are definitely being squeezed.
    It's probably also true that our recovery from the worldwide banking crisis was well under way before the election. Moreover, interest rates on Government Bonds were low - reflecting the high credit rating of the UK.
    If growth and employment falter later this year, they'll be only one cause: government cutbacks.

  • Comment number 12.

    1. At 11:27am on 14 Jul 2010, antonT wrote:
    Surely pay rises should be earnt and not be automatic? This incessant rise of the pay packet irrespective of growth has become an insideous part of British culture and should be stopped before it overwhelms what's left of our meritocracy.

    Its a bit naive to say pay should not rise with inflation. Are you saying everyone should get a pay cut unless they earned the right to have their pay keep up with costs? Also, your pay is what you earn is it not? What do you mean by becoming a part of British culture? Which country in the world requires workers to take pay cuts?

    That would seem to be quite harsh or perhaps its simply a knee jerk reaction which has not been thought out - please think about what you write.

  • Comment number 13.

    "1. At 11:27am on 14 Jul 2010, antonT wrote:
    Surely pay rises should be earnt and not be automatic? This incessant rise of the pay packet irrespective of growth has become an insideous part of British culture and should be stopped before it overwhelms what's left of our meritocracy."
    So people should get poorer, unless they earn the right to stand still. And what about those at the top getting massive pay rises above inflation, are they entitled to that because they "earnt" it. What nonsense. Worker's earnings have been dropping in real terms for decades as firms squeeze costs in pursuit of profit. To make up for this people have had to borrow more and more just to maintain their standard of living, but that has reached an unsustainable level. Remember workers are also consumers. If they dont have enough money they wont be able to buy anything, which we need in order to keep the economy growing, right?

  • Comment number 14.

    It is nice or perhaps more convenient that you exclude bonuses, having never in my career had the luxury of a bonus in the public sector, when we read of the fat cats getting millions in bonuses, I would gladly give up all salary just for the million or two in bonus! I never burst the bank though.

    As we know, things have been even tougher for private sector workers. Earnings in that part of the economy rose by just 0.6% year-on-year in May, though the average over the quarter was a bit better.

    At some point it will become irrelevant whether you work in the public sector or private sector, the BBC and politicians are good at divide and conquer the good hard working low paid private sector and the excessively paid slip shod lazy public sector, Stephanie this may well be the case at the BBC, but not all the public sector! As the gap between the top ten percent and the bottom ten percent continues to grow, as it has done for the past thirty years or so, it will become so obscene that the bottom of the tree will rebel.

    It is not the public sector that is the bogey man it is the absolute greed of the top ten percent, again I would remind you of those millionaires that pay less tax than those they employ on the minimum wage, if we are all in this together then when do these individuals start paying their share?

  • Comment number 15.

    The Bank can't be that concerned about inflation, interest rates are still 0.5% despite not even being in recession and inflation being well over target, and house prices rising around double digits. These interest rates are unheard of.

  • Comment number 16.

    I wonder what the percentage of the population is that were in full time employment in 2007 but are working part-time today, but still have full-time job financial commitments? There must be a growing number of people trapped in this position who are racking up significant levels of personal debt. Also real inflation is far higher than 3.4% so even if you are working full-time then you are feeling poorer. In the past 15-20 years this hole would have been filled by people simply running up personal debt to cover the shortfall but ( I hope ) that is not going to happen today. Unless the economy quickly starts producing a large number of new full-time jobs on an ongoing basis then the long-term outcome will be stagflation...

  • Comment number 17.

    I wish I'd had a pay cut of only 2%.

    Just one question about these figures: how trustworthy are the stats? Are we sure that employment has really risen by 160,000? Presumably there is some statistical sampling uncertainty around that, even if there aren't any sources of bias in the data.

  • Comment number 18.

    Hello, this is Ravi I am in Mumbai and have a problem with the appliance I bought.

    Let me take some information.

    Are you British? I can't understand you with that accent.

    I'm am sorry sir, I will talk slowly. What is your problem?

    The future is bright.

  • Comment number 19.

    Don't get too excited Steffie and fellow posters all. I seem to recall figures for employment at this time of year often carrying the rider that the increase may be due to seasonal factors. The UK holiday industry may have taken on that number just to cope with what could be a very good summer for them. I certainly hope so.

  • Comment number 20.

    Pay in the non-unionised part of the private sector is governed by a number of factors and the ‘automatic’ annual cost of living pay rise was effectively a mechanism for ensuring that salaries remained competitive – so that companies didn’t lose their valuable staff. With relatively high unemployment and problems of affordability, many companies have decided to press the pause button.

    The biggest barrier to job creation currently is lack of confidence. In our (UK manufacturing) company we have experienced a recovery of sorts in the past nine months but are by no means confident that this will continue. Consequently although we would like to recruit and have parts of our business operating sub-optimally for lack of skilled staff, we are holding back. Like many companies, we have also learned as the result of substantial and painful cost reductions made last year, that our efficiency has improved – and we don’t want to throw that away.

    Since we are primarily dependent on exports, what happens to the UK public sector doesn’t have a bearing on our future performance, except perhaps to help keep a lid on pay inflation. But to the extent our public sector cuts are mirrored in other industrialised economies, our caution about future prospects is reinforced.

    How can government encourage us to start recruiting again? Stimulate innovation through improved R&D tax credits; create a favourable environment for apprenticeships and other methods of making school and university leavers employable, support entrepreneurship, ensure that it balances cuts in public sector spending with overall economic growth. With a following wind this just might achieve a modest, sustainable growth rate with stable employment.

  • Comment number 21.

    I work in the private sector. I haven't had a pay rise in two years, was put on reduced hours and pay in April and am now facing redundancy. I have a job offer with another company, albeit at a 15% pay cut. But I consider myself to be lucky. I just hope that inflation is brought under control and that the coalition government doesn't completely destroy any hopes of a recovery. Unfortunately, my mortgage, food bills, council tax, utility bills, etc. all still need paying and I don't think they'd be willing to take a 15% cut in line with my paycheck. I've already cut out any luxury spending, sold my car, and haven't been on a holiday in years. There isn't much more cutting I can do.

  • Comment number 22.

    Interesting that earnings growth now excludes bonuses, that are again increasing and becoming more wide-spread. Their inclusion would presumably make the figure much higher at a time when pension increases are about to be linked. Who decided this variant in figues - not the OBR?

    The fall in claimants would appear to highlight the lie in boy Osborne's claims of a Labour "benefits bonanza" - in that the trend would seem to be towards part-time work or being self-employed rather than claiming unemployment benefit in whatever form.

    What forecast from the OBR as to the effects of the unnecessary blood-letting in all areas recently announced by devious Dave and boy George, and does anybody, anywhere, still "agree with Nick"?

    As the election was in May, and the emergency Budget in June, I assume the real Tory outcomes will not start to surface until the Autumn at the earliest. When "devious and boy" can pull a life saving "rabbit" out of the "economic hat" and claim responsibility for saving the nation. How does Vince Cable stand in front of the mirror each morning and not see the "Portrait of Dorian Grey"?

  • Comment number 23.

    Stephanie,
    Given that the direct cause of this depression in the economy is that aggregate demand had been supported by consumer credit, rather than adequate employment and wage levels since the 70s - the best things the government and industry can do right now is:

    - Increase public sector employment, and raise wage levels

    - Encourage industry that's making a good profit to pay above inflation pay rises

    - Introduce a 'Full Employment Guarantee' to fulfill our UN Charter obligations

    - Government targetted investment in energy and food security and R&D
    relevant to that

    - develop and implement market anti-inflation programs

    - educate our population about how our money works and macro-economics
    so that these crazy neo-liberal, procyclical policies can never return.

    Kind Regards
    Charlie

  • Comment number 24.

    Why is part-time work necessarily bad news? A large percentage of the workforce are women and a large percentage of women work part-time hours due to child care commitments. Surely this is good news? Which sectors are the jobs coming from and what salary levels are we talking about, minimum wage or higher?

  • Comment number 25.

    Weredoomed #14

    Good point on taxation - strange that boy George is saying zilch about tax evasion/avoidance when such large buckets of cash are available on his doorstep. Of course the tracing and collection would require some public sector activity in catching the tricky lttle dickies who are not paying their dues, whilst reaping the rewards. Maybe it might be something to do with his own personal millionaire status, or that of Lord Ashcroft, et. al.?

  • Comment number 26.

    "This incessant rise " is the reward for two things, improved productivity, and growth. Over the long term, the economy is growing by a little over 2%pa, it is reasonable to expect, wages to reflect this. Also, if productivity is improving, then surely employees should be rewarded for this (hence increase earnings). Infact, directors pay is rising significantly faster than average earnings, it is this that needs to be addressed.

  • Comment number 27.

    I work in the public sector (RDA). Yesterday we were given notice that the organisation we work for is to close as a result of government cuts. I along with thousands of others will be out of work between now and next March. Probably sooner rather than later. That will swell the jobless figures.

  • Comment number 28.

    #2
    "Pay, excluding bonuses
    You need to watch out for that: I have seen evidence that middle managers are raiding the bonus pot for staff so they can tell senior managers they have kept nominal pay rises down. Obviously a one-off measure, but could it have skewed the numbers?"
    I'm a small business FD. We were looking to pay bonus rather than a salary rise this year as we can foresee the compulsory pension scheme coming up next year which will expropriate contributions from businesses and step increase salary costs. I suggest it will be even more difficult for anyone employed in the private sector to get a payrise next year because of this factor increasing salary costs.

  • Comment number 29.

    Good news about the job figures.

    Not sure they are so positive though. During the last few months of the last government many thousands of people were employed in the public sector in a last final splurge. I suspect this report will prove to be a high watermark.

    As far as pay is concerned we all get what we are worth. That may rub the communists up the wrong way and be hard for many to accept. Today a Premier footballer can make £200k per week and a movie star £20m per film while a nurse makes a modest living. Its not fair but human nature causes it to be so.

    Pay is simply a reflection of the truth. We are not all equal. If all the employees were to receive 35% more at my company then there would be no profits and most employees would end up worse off. They would spend every penny and more until the company was bled dry, finally losing their jobs and a sustainable mediocre life. At the same time there would be no big earners; i.e. the talent, since there would be no company.

    Its just how it is. Most mediocrities spend most of their time moaning about the injustice of their lives because they lack the talent to see what is required to get ahead.

  • Comment number 30.

    "But, as we've come to expect in this recovery, the rise was entirely due to a big rise in part-time work and self-employment. The number of full-time employees fell by 22,000, to 18.20m"

    Classic - so the headline "UK unemployment declines to 2.47m" so proudly boasted across the new (awful) BBC website is in fact misleading.

    100 working people, which is better?
    25% unemployed, 75% employed
    75% 1/2 employed, 25% employed

    It may seem like there isn't much difference, but if anyone recalls a number of years ago the Germans went through a similar problem. Their workers simply decided to 'reduce working hours' voluntarilly - which brought growth right down. Essentially the Economy running in slow motion, still moving in the right direction, but very slowly. It's a similar story for Japan and the lost decade, in that the Japanese wre living off their savings (invested in Government bonds) which meant that the standard of living was reduced across the board much more gently than traditionally in recessions- but that it lasted a lot longer, and people got used to it. No longer did the Japanese demand the latest gadget or newest car - they could afford to wait and save.

    Now tie that in to the well documented desperate need and desire for 'rapid growth' so we as a nation can pay back our debts - oh and the fact that the ToryDem-olition policy of cuts are totally dependent on growth, and growth quickly - otherwise it's depression for us.

    ...then you get the picture of why this is yet more bad news wrapped up in a blanket of cuddly pink fluff.
    The Americans are starting to realise that high and stubborn unemployment along with no growth and rising prices is a recipie for hyperinflation - it's time we did the same. You can paper over the job figures with part-time employment - but it makes no difference whatsoever.

    If politicans were clever enough to realise this then they would stop doing it.

    What is fascinating is that there are less than 20% of the country who are working full time - maybe if everyone "did a little" then we could all work 3 days a week.

    ...ah but you see that doesn't fit into the growth / Capitalist model whcih requires we all run around engaging in (sometimes pointless) tasks in order to 'keep up with the Jones's' - who in turn are busy trying to keep up with the Smiths.

    Great for Capitalism - bad for people who want to have a productive purpose in life.

  • Comment number 31.

    4. At 11:46am on 14 Jul 2010, Tyto alba wrote:

    "Given that bosses' pay reputedly rose by 7%, excluding bonuses, last year does that mean that any actual worker got a pay rise in the private sector? I know nobody in the company I work for got one."

    I'm sorry to break it to you, but those pay cuts and freezes are for you and not the affluent.
    The austerity measures are also for you, as the wealthy can always afford private services.
    ...oh and those tax rises which are coming - they're for you too.

    I might sound unsympathetic, but maybe if you hadn't brought the world Economy to it's knees then you wouldn't have to pay for it.....what do you mean it was the banks, run by the same wealthy who are not paying for any of it - and not you????

    I just assumed that "we're all in this together" - I hope you can see now that this is simply not true.
    Those who profited from the situation have all left the building and the police don't seem to be too bothered about catching them.

    Try this stat out - in the 70's (I think) the average bosses pay was 20 times that of the average worker - now it's hundreds of times greater.

    So who should pay? - who has eaten more than their fill at the trough?

  • Comment number 32.

    6. At 12:04pm on 14 Jul 2010, Johnny Midnight wrote:

    "Over worked, under paid, funding lazy benefit claimants.....
    ...man, I love this place."

    ...or funding lazy royal layabouts
    ....or funding Government quango's and 'new regulators'
    .....or paying the salary of politicans who are unable to do their jobs.

    You must be balanced - the 'lazy benefit claimiants' make a tiny fraction of the free-loading layabouts who live off your taxes.

  • Comment number 33.

    9. At 12:10pm on 14 Jul 2010, Tyto alba wrote:

    "antonT - "automatic" pay rises can stop when inflation is zero percent - but as all economists agree that zero inflation is not a good thing then pay rises to compensate are right and proper. "

    ...but don't you ask why Economist say 0 inflation is a bad thing? Lets see shall we?
    On the up side.
    We would have price stability
    We would be able to plan ahead much better
    There would be less shortfalls on projects
    House prices would be stable
    Asset owners (mainly the rich) wouldn't benefit financially through nothing more than asset inflation
    Foreign exchange rates would be more stable.

    on the down side
    It would be much harder to pay workers less than their contributing value and much more difficult to extract a profit.
    Economists would be all but unemployed.
    The rich would suffer

    Mmmmm - no I wonder why we're not moving towards a 0 inflation system?

    Bad for who exactly?

  • Comment number 34.

    14. At 12:54pm on 14 Jul 2010, weredoomed wrote:

    "It is not the public sector that is the bogey man it is the absolute greed of the top ten percent, again I would remind you of those millionaires that pay less tax than those they employ on the minimum wage, if we are all in this together then when do these individuals start paying their share?"

    (Rapturous Applause)

  • Comment number 35.

    15. At 12:54pm on 14 Jul 2010, Si_555 wrote:

    "The Bank can't be that concerned about inflation, interest rates are still 0.5% despite not even being in recession and inflation being well over target, and house prices rising around double digits. These interest rates are unheard of."

    The rates are keeping the junkie distracted until they can come up with a new plan....clearly the expectation of holding rates at these lows until 2012 is an indication of how that new plan is coming along...

  • Comment number 36.

    26. At 2:49pm on 14 Jul 2010, martin campbell wrote:

    "This incessant rise is the reward for two things, improved productivity, and growth."

    When did that happen? The incessant rise has been due to debt being free and easily available - it's got nothing to do with productivity. If it were due to productivity - then why all the problems when the banks ran out of cash? Surely a productive society can function quite normally without credit - maybe you're confusing the UK with China.

    "Over the long term, the economy is growing by a little over 2%pa, it is reasonable to expect, wages to reflect this."

    Really? - and you don't think this long term growth has anything to do with the long term low interest rate environment we've been living in? If the growth is a 2% average then why does the BoE have a near 0 interest rate (never seen before) in order to stimulate growth? I think you;re being selective in your 'long term' period.

    "Also, if productivity is improving, then surely employees should be rewarded for this (hence increase earnings)."

    If it is improving, but that makes no sense as the Chinese seem to be producing more for less - isn't that what productivity is?
    The UK has been relying on production which other countries couldn't do - mainly high worth exports (weapons), now they are all having a go they're shwoing us who is really productive.

    "Infact, directors pay is rising significantly faster than average earnings, it is this that needs to be addressed."

    Agreed - but you know it, I know it, everyone knows it - so why has absolutely nothing been done about it?

    Where do politicians go when they're finished with Government - there's you answer.

  • Comment number 37.

    tyto alba: the "indolent shareholders" include your pension and life insurance providers, as well as millions of small savers who prefer to invest in shares to earning paltry interest on monopoly money printed by the Government.

  • Comment number 38.

    29. At 3:07pm on 14 Jul 2010, johnboy911 wrote:

    "Its just how it is. Most mediocrities spend most of their time moaning about the injustice of their lives because they lack the talent to see what is required to get ahead."

    "Its just how it is" Said the 18th Century Politician with a bribe in his pocket."Its just how it is" said the workhouse commissioners as the doors clanged shut."Its just how it is" said the rich as the poor died of cholera in London."Its just how it is" said the Tory party of the 1980s as Industry disappeared etc etc etc

    I'll tell you what's very mediocre, Its people pontificating about those who have little and are anxious and scared, saying"Its just how it is"

  • Comment number 39.

    29. At 3:07pm on 14 Jul 2010, johnboy911 wrote:

    "Its just how it is. Most mediocrities spend most of their time moaning about the injustice of their lives because they lack the talent to see what is required to get ahead. "

    This makes me laugh - here I am, moaning about the injustice of it all and yet I seem to be getting ahead

    If I prove anything - it's that your assumptions about talent vs wage are complete nonsense. I am perversely proud of that fact - my success is largely through circumstance - but I am honest enough to admit it. I may have some talents, but they're not in the field I'm working in and they certainly don't reflect my wage. Still it's not my problem that those who employ me have even less talent and contiue to get me to do the jobs they are unable to do.

    The problem you have is that you cannot believe anything but "talent is rewarded with high wages" - because then you might start to question your own worth. This is the same for a lot of people, it's all about convincing people your talented rather than actually being talented. You ideal of a meritocracy is simply false.

    The best and most obvious example of this is the financial world where the biggest talent is 'talking yourself up loudly' and this is a skill highly rewarded - despite the fact that the industry produces nothing

  • Comment number 40.

    A prime example of 'lies, damned lies, and statistics'! Does anyone really believe the unemployment figures?

    Add in the 2.5 million on Incapacity Benefit/Employment Support Allowance. If the government succeeds in rooting out the pseudo-incapacitated claimants and moving them onto JSA, we would see a doubling of the numbers.

    Further, add people like me - 60+, receiving Pension Credit and therefore not unemployed.

    The truth is that unemployment data belongs in the same category as population data: SWAG!!!!! (Scientific wild-assed guessing)

  • Comment number 41.

    Just popped on to check the format - the main new pages on this BBC web site seem to have been written in a format for children, or perhaps someone has the wrong spacing setting for the lines?

    At least this blog page for what it's worth is presented in a format that most people of basic intelligence will be able to read in reasonable quantities reasonably easily. I'm truly grateful.

  • Comment number 42.

    I don't often comment on the blogs on this site, but I would like to take the oppourtunity to say this.

    I work for one of the larger hospitals in the country, and I can tell you that there is all ready cuts ( yes, cuts) in whats meant to be a 'protected service', cuts in staff ( not recruiting to the point that certian services, including mine, are on the brink of collapse), both on the front line and 'back room' staff such as myself ( Im not in admin before anyone goes on that one) who arent exactly on great wages, which have bin cut through the back door ( £100 pcm take home in my case) and changes to holiday entitlement, how overtime is paid (when it isnt banned) .
    I am personally now earning less than I was 3-4 years ago and as a result of the staffing cuts the patients are going to start to suffer because we simply cant provide the sevices the the wards/ theatres/ clinics require as efficiently as we have in the past.

    Meanwhile, the managers above us ( at the last count, my team (of whats suppost to be 10 staff) has 4 ( yes 4 ) direct line managers , they the have 2 managers and those 2 have 1 ( head of our estates dept) above them, of which none have have taken the cut ( which works out at around 1/13 of our wages) and are sitting pretty, and dont get me started on the Chief exec (£9,000ish just on taxis in the last financial year).

    So to some up what is basicially a rant by a concerned and heavily over worked NHS pleb ( yes Im public sector) and may not be strictly relevant to Stephs' post, the cuts are even happening in the so called protected services and have been for some time, even though those of you on the other side of the fence as it were, havent noticed. But I can assure you that you will soon, because the cuts being made in my hospital are being implemented every where.

  • Comment number 43.

    It would be useful to know if these jobs are well paid or not. I suspect they are mostly minimum wage with unpaid overtime.

  • Comment number 44.

    WOTW @30-36
    Magnificent series of posts. Not saying I agree 100% but we have to change the way this failed system operates. Your refreshing ideas/views/ approach offer some hope for the future. 'New politics' from the Coalition - give me a break!

  • Comment number 45.

    9. At 3:07pm on 14 Jul 2010, johnboy911 wrote:

    As far as pay is concerned we all get what we are worth.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Sorry, but I do not think that people are paid what they are worth. I think that all people are worth the same. Our society is organised in such a way that people are paid differently but that does not mean correctly or what they are worth. One of the failures of our capitalist system is that there are no accurate ways of knowing how good a manager or CEO actually is. That is why the bankers and CEOs who caused all of these present problems are still in their jobs, being paid more and getting bonuses. I have seen too many bad managers who were bad at their original non-management job moving up the career ladder and getting more money. My own manager did not have experience of and did not understand the departments that he was managing. He could not even use the company’s simple email system. But managers are paid what they are paid because of who they ‘network’ with and not because of how well they manage. Capitalism will not work successfully until the quality of managers and CEOs can be appropriately evaluated both in comparison with each other and in their usefulness within the Capitalism system.
    Similarly, we have not been appreciating the importance in the Capitalist system of the wealth creators ie the real workers. As I have mentioned previously, it is the real work done by the real workers, including many public sector workers, that generates the wealth and supports the rest of society. All the managers, all the CEOs, all the City workers and the financial advisers are supported by the work of the real workers and the wealth created by them. The present problem is that these people have pressed too hard on the system. They have broken its back.
    When we are tempted to admire people who appear rich, we should remember their wealth has quite often come unfairly and in an anti-Capitalist way from the work of the real workers. Those who want Capitalism to be successful should learn to recognise what are its true characteristics and denounce the often repeated errors.

  • Comment number 46.

    One of the reasons the government has to get across the cuts message, even at cost of double dip, is because of the Unions. Particularly in public sector they are still living in fantasy land of 4-5% wage rises every year. We need to learn the recent German lesson of making UK more competitive by reducing our labour costs. The quick the Unions learn this lesson the sooner and fewer cuts would have to be made. So when Bob Crow crow's about plus 4% wage rises for underground, understand what it costs the rest of us; fewer jobs, higher inflation, less investment

  • Comment number 47.

    46. At 8:11pm on 14 Jul 2010, lixxie wrote:
    One of the reasons the government has to get across the cuts message, even at cost of double dip, is because of the Unions. Particularly in public sector they are still living in fantasy land of 4-5% wage rises every year. We need to learn the recent German lesson of making UK more competitive by reducing our labour costs. The quick the Unions learn this lesson the sooner and fewer cuts would have to be made. So when Bob Crow crow's about plus 4% wage rises for underground, understand what it costs the rest of us; fewer jobs, higher inflation, less investment


    Perhaps if you actually looked at what pay and what rises many in the public sector have and have had over the last thirty years, you would find that many have not risen anything like the private sector!

    If you look at the rate of rise in the top ten percent of earners in this country over the same period, they are massively over paid and over rated in comparison to the same German counterparts you like to quote! Indeed if you would care to look at the shareholders revolt at M&S, Tesco to name a few these people are out of touch with reality, this not to mention banks or bankers pensions, with not a single union in sight, nor are they in the public sector. We are if you like as Napoleon claimed a nation of small shopkeepers, it would be better if we could aspire to greater things, but this would require educating people then paying decent wages to many and not just the few!

    unemployment may have dropped slightly now, this is usual at this time of year, when the budget changes take affect I dread to think how high unemployment may rise, Then the excuse will be there can be no money for investment as the benefits being paid in unemployment will be staggering.

    This unemployment as once declared by a tory, "is a price worth paying" of course those top ten percent will not notice, as many will still avoid paying tax all together, as David and George say "we are all in this together" perhaps some are more in it than others!

  • Comment number 48.

    Well, well, well! Welcome to our world! New taxes on everything? Yes, we have that! Hidden taxes, such as high inflation? I don't remember a year in my life without that! Interest rates below or just above inflation? Of course, every year for decades now! New jobs are mostly part-time, temporal or self-employment without benefits? More than 60% percent of our workforce thrives there! Bureaucrats without pay increases? We have had that for more than 7 years now! Banks bursting with earnings? We happen to house the most profitable branches of several of the international banks making business here!
    Welcome to the distorted economic world of countries like Mexico!

  • Comment number 49.

    Stephanie wrote:
    Employment rose by 160,000 - the largest rise in nearly four years.
    But, as we've come to expect in this recovery, the rise was entirely due to a big rise in part-time work and self-employment. The number of full-time employees fell by 22,000, to 18.20m.

    But hold on a minute... I thought that this is Capitali$m!
    The 'best system' where 'everyone's better off' and where there's wealth, prosperity and good jobs/ profitable employment opportunities in abundance for all!
    Am I to understand that we've now entered some kind of 'Utopia' era where masses of working class people now only need PART TIME work (with minimum wage levels?)and yet, despite this, they can still manage, miraculously, to afford mortgages, food, clothing, utility bills, taxes... Etc. Oh hallelujah!!!
    STEPHANIE - SURELY AT THIS TIME THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO CAN SURVIVE, AND THRIVE, IN THIS LAND ON 'PART TIME' INCOMES ARE THE LUDICROUS 'INVESTMENT' BANKERS AND 'FINANCIERS', OF THE CITY OF LONDON AND OF WALL STREET INFAMY, WHO CAUSED THIS ENTIRE ONGOING NEO-LIBERAL IDEALOGICAL MESS.

  • Comment number 50.

    I work in that Green and Yellow Place on the High Street.

    Our workload ie new claimants has doubled in the last few weeks and shows no sign of slowing.

    I am staggered unemployment is falling - my place of work is naturally linked to others across the District and the Unemployed Register is rising in all of them, and I'm in the South East, by the way.

    At the end of an interview with a New Claimant, there is a jobsearch conducted based on their criteria - thus it varies per customer. The most common reply from the system is "No Vacancies Found".

    Then again, there are lies, d@mn lies and statistics.........

  • Comment number 51.

    Zero inflation not a good thing! How absurd! Who says this? All economists! All economists should roll up their sleeves then, leave their ivory towers and try some real work like running businesses. All this is too much theory and virtually zero practice! No pay rises would ultimately lead to virtually no inflation. No pay rises for everyone would be more effective and less socially divisive than job cuts for just a section of the workforce.

  • Comment number 52.

    Perhaps we should ask the large group of irrate workers currently gathered outside the huge college build in Paddington Green (public sector project) what they think about the latest dip in unemployment figures after being laid off yesterday when the private firm employing them went bankrupt.

  • Comment number 53.

    "33. At 3:56pm on 14 Jul 2010, writingsonthewall wrote:"
    Interestly, as Christ Martenson points out in his “Crash Course” there was a period in America’s history between the 1600’s and the 1900’s (approx 250 years) when they had no inflation. You could bury your money in a tin in the back garden and a hundred years later dig it up and buy the same amount of stuff with it. Of course those were the days when coins were really made of gold. Unsurprisingly every time there was a war they had to result to paper money (not enough gold to fund it) which resulted in inflation, and eventual collapse of the currency, but once back to gold, prices returned to the norm. Not that I am necessarily advocating a return to gold coins, but it shows you zero inflation it is possible, if it wasn’t for those pesky rich folk/investors.

  • Comment number 54.

    I’m increasingly of the view that there are two groups of people in society. Those that believe in self interest (look after yourself) and therefore greed and truly believe that these characteristics are a quite natural part of normal human behaviour. And those that believe in ‘community’ or looking after our ‘fellow man’ in preference to self interest which they view as being undesirable part of human nature. The rich in society always seem to fall into the former category.

  • Comment number 55.

    I think we need to look at the latest Unemployment figures with alot of caution since what we are looking at really is Seasonally adjusted by the fact that most of these so-called "New Jobs" might well turn out to be Summer only, Part - Time positions, which will disappear at the end of the Summer Season as fast as they orginally came into being.

    What we are seeing this Year due to the Recession is that many more People are holidaying at home within the UK, and this is what is really temporary driving this Years Seasonal adjusted improvement in Part - Time Employment.

  • Comment number 56.

    I heard somewhere that the number of private sector jobs was exactly the same in 2010 as in 1997 and that all the reduction in unemployment in that time was due to more public sector jobs. Can this be true?

  • Comment number 57.

    56. At 5:21pm on 15 Jul 2010, Ian wrote:
    I heard somewhere that the number of private sector jobs was exactly the same in 2010 as in 1997 and that all the reduction in unemployment in that time was due to more public sector jobs. Can this be true?

    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Yes. Can't remember the exact statistics but something like one person in six worked for the State in 1997 and in mid-decade this had dropped to one on five for the first time. For me, that was one of the several alarm bells that rang during 2003-2007 warning of trouble ahead.

  • Comment number 58.

    54. At 09:10am on 15 Jul 2010, Averagejoe wrote:
    I’m increasingly of the view that there are two groups of people in society. Those that believe in self interest (look after yourself) and therefore greed and truly believe that these characteristics are a quite natural part of normal human behaviour. And those that believe in ‘community’ or looking after our ‘fellow man’ in preference to self interest which they view as being undesirable part of human nature. The rich in society always seem to fall into the former category.

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Years ago I would have objected somewhat to this. We now have evidence from different sources to back up your post in general terms. One of the richest people I know personally is also one of the most generous. He holds his wealth very loosely but then he is a Christian.

    In contrast and in support of your view, we know from the National Lottery that wealthy people buy tickets hoping to win yet more money. We have evidence from various groups and individuals, especially a couple of finance CEO's who effectively said that most of the people working in sections of their companies are motivated only by money and the prospect of making lots of it. And then wanting to make even more on top. No surprise that CEOs (no names, no pack drill) get bigger and bigger salary packages. They are egged on by their peers because it can be a cocktail party boast "We have the highest paid Exec in ... " and is also a benefit to them, if and when they make a move. The headhunters are egged on by their clients and by the potential fees they will earn. The companies assessing remuneration and benefits packages do it by reference to existing salaries - not what a job is worth.

    I think things like greed and selfishness and acquisitiveness can creep up on anyone, not just bankers {as most of the posters on RP's recent blog would have you believe} and in my personal case, have to be struggled against - still.

    In mitigation, it is very much part of our culture. For example, a certain national broadsheet newspaper used to rail against the poor old motorist for daring to drive his eight year old Ford Fiesta ten miles to work across bus routes that run anywhere but from his home to work but would happily carry adds for R*nge R*vers and would have a property section extolling the Welsh borders or Yorkshire as the location for a weekend cottage.

    And then a certain Labour Minister is famous for saying "We are the party of the rich, now." some years before the expenses scandal broke.

    Ho hum. Let's be careful out there, tomorrow.

  • Comment number 59.

    The trend towards marginal, low paid part time working continues. All these so-called "new" jobs are just a statistical hoovering up of people who have struggled to find ANY form of income at the margins, having given up any idea of getting a secure, well paid job in the real economy.

    The western developed economies are going to have to make a big mental leap to understand that bearing the burdens of mass unemployment, unsustainable balance of payments deficits and huge public & private debt is the price we are all paying for allowing our manufacturing industries to be dismantled and shipped to China and similar places.

    Globalisation and free trade are now unsustainable - either we move in a coordinated way to restructure trade relationships, or we leave it to the anarchy of the market to hammer currencies and economies into the ground which will end their ability to borrow and pay for imports anyway.

    Surely a managed approach is preferable?

    We need to invest in productive manufacturing, develop an industrial policy and reduce the level of imports. This would create well paid, sustainable jobs in the UK, reducing the burdens of unemployment, put our balance of payments out of the red and enable HMG to pay off our debt.

    Cutting public spending in this drastic way will never solve the underlying problem - indeed it will probably make it even worse by slashing aggregate demand in the economy - I'd put this at a TRIILLION POUNDS of demand over the parliament - and the OBR claims the economy is going to GROW !!? And Export !!?

    Taxing imports whilst encouraging UK production is the only practical option for the UK, the EU and the USA - anyone who thinks it is possible to have most of the world's manfacturing split from where it is consumed is economically illiterate - in the end the debt mountain will smother the consumer economies - that's where we are now.

    Leaving the current situation to work itself out is going to end in a trainwreck, with the dollar probably holed below the waterline, the Euro mired in long running debt crises and the pound exposed to huge speculative pressure once unemployment begins to skyrocket as we go off the cliff into the double dip recession.

    The UK private sector is never going to deliver 2m+ new jobs in the parliament - it's just a question of how long it takes for this to become apparent.

    When it is no longer possible to finance UK debt or to pay for our imports, so called "free" trade will come to a grinding halt anyway. Surely it would be better to face the reality that globalisation is unsustainable nonsense and act now to avoid meltdown?

  • Comment number 60.

    Though it is obviously welcome news that the unemployment rate has fallen, how is anybody expected to live on part-time wages? It is interesting when i watched this news item it was mentioned that many of the part time jobs had gone to women, which i would presume have husbands etc at home to support them, and reading the information posted by Stephanie has been conveniently forgotten.

    I live alone and am unable to work part time as the jobseekers allowance regulations stipulate i am only able to earn £5 a week and if i work part time will lose all my benefits including Housing and Council tax benefits.

    This part-time employment situation is a growing trend, starting in the 1980's and continued to grow up to and including the present day.

    We need a growing economy creating regular full-time jobs which have salaries to support the people needing them whether living with somebody else or not and which generate valuable revenue for the government to cut the deficit and pay for services.

  • Comment number 61.

    "I work in the public sector (RDA). Yesterday we were given notice that the organisation we work for is to close as a result of government cuts. I along with thousands of others will be out of work between now and next March. Probably sooner rather than later. That will swell the jobless figures"
    But not for long ! Six months after redundancy my unemployment benefit stopped , my wife works part time in a shop so her income meant that i couldnt claim any benefit other than Pension Credit which I was pursuaded to go for , after nearly a year of form filling I was awarded the princley sum of £0.10 per week . But I am off the jobless figures so my unemployment just doesnt count . If the thousands of people getting part time work are at the same time removing their unemployed partners from jobless count then that is statistic massaging on a grand scale .

  • Comment number 62.

    This is a just a minor downward blip before the real unemployment starts to hit home, when the public sector starts to shed jobs. Local Councils will need to shed at least 10% of their workforce to meet their budgeting restrictions. That could be 300-500 thousand jobs gone. Then there are the Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts. They are all going to be disbanded over the next 3 years - again that could be another 200-300 thousand jobs gone. And then there are plenty of smaller organisations that will either go or have to cut staff. It's easy to see over the next 2-3 years, another 1.5 million people being added to the current claimant count, and unemployment reaching levels never seen before in this country.

 

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