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Good news on jobs

Stephanie Flanders | 10:45 UK time, Wednesday, 13 April 2011

There's plenty of good news in today's labour market figures. We can all take cheer from the fact that the private sector has been creating more full-time jobs - for men and women - with ministers taking extra relief from the fact that this has outpaced the fall in employment in the public sector.

With inflation running at 4%, households will not welcome the fact that the annual growth in average earnings has actually dropped back a little. Given all that we're hearing about the pressure on the High Street, it's not good news for retailers either. On average, earnings (excluding bonuses, which are highly volatile at this time of year) are growing at an annual rate of 2.2%, slightly down on the previous month.

However, for the Bank of England, weak pay growth, during a period when the target measure jumped up to 4.4%, will provide welcome evidence that the inflation we're importing from the rest of the world is not becoming entrenched. Crucially, wage inflation in the private sector - which is obviously not subject to any government pay freeze - has been stable since September, when inflation was "only" 3.1%.

Nationwide, the wider, ILO measure of unemployment has fallen by 17,000, though there has been a small rise in Wales. The number of people in work has risen by an impressive 143,000 - and, for once, the rise has been driven by an increase in full-time work.

There are now 390,000 more people in work than there were a year ago, though still 331,000 fewer than before the crisis. That increase in total employment since the start of last year has been despite a 132,000 fall in the number working in the public sector.

It's not all good news. There has been a very small rise in the number claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, but that appears to be due to recent changes in the policy towards single parents, many of whom have been moved on to that form of support. The headline rate of youth unemployment has also risen slightly, though less than many had feared.

The puzzle, if there is one, would be how an economy that is supposed to have been broadly flat between December and February was able to produce 143,000 more jobs than in the previous three months. Yes, labour market figures do tend to lag behind the rest of the economy. It could be that the impact of the slowdown at the end of the year will only be seen in future months. But the experience of the past two years has been that the labour market has responded more quickly to changes in the economy than in the past. When you add this rate of job creation to the tax revenues taken in over those months, there still must be some room to hope that the fall in output at the end of the year will turn out to be a blip.

It's too soon to call the peak in either unemployment or inflation, but if you're not a retailer or a saver it's been a decent week.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    If we think 4% inflation and 2.48 million unemployed is good news then I'll have some of whatever everone is smoking. More to the point if we believe either figure I suggest we ask ourselves where the 100,000 civil and public service employees that have lost their jobs since the Octobner 2010 have gone in the statistics. I know where they are, do you?

    Wait until the DWP redundancies hit the fan in May and BIS redundancies in June, they can't hide all these people in the stats like they have done so far.

  • Comment number 2.

    And now the follysome cuts start to kick in.

    Here is some wisdom how things will pan out, from DeLong blog April 11 2011, qutoting Lawrence Summers at Bretton Woods:

    "I have always been an empiricist, so I will be happy to say that if Britain enjoys a boom over the next two years coming from increased confidence, I will be required to quite radically rethink my view of how the macroeconomy operates, and to be quite contrite about the seriousness of the misjudgments that I am making.
    You can make a judgment, those of you who know me, how big a risk I would take of putting myself in such a position of contrition. And you might conclude that I am highly confident that the [Brito-European] experiment is not going to work out well."

    This is the standard New Keynesian position.

    Here is Paul Krugman blog March 30, 2011, 'Austerity Games, Here And There':

    "Meanwhile, in Britain, via Yves Smith, people have been digging into the details of the government forecast, and finding that it relies on the assumption that household debt will rise to new heights relative to income [see blog post for graph of UK Office of Budget Responsibility].

    Why? Because the only way the economy can avoid taking a hit from government cuts is if private spending rises to fill the gap — and although you rarely hear the austerians admitting this, the only way that can happen is if people take on more debt. So we have the spectacle of a government that inveighs against the evils of debt pinning all its hopes on an assumption that over-indebted households will dig their hole even deeper.All in all, it’s quite a spectacle. It would be funny, except that millions of people will suffer the cost of this folly."




  • Comment number 3.

    Really can't complain. This is a decent amount of evidence to suggest the private sector may well take up the slack left by the public sector cuts. There's a long way to go of course, so nice surprises should be recognised as just that.

    No one seems to ever mention economic confidence in sectors other than consumers, but if anyone looks at the Economic Sentiment Indicator figures produced by the European Commission, they will find that manufacturing and services sectors are both expecting higher employment in their businesses over the coming 3 months.

    There's more than just consumer confidence. Good news - let's not overdo it - but good news nonetheless.

  • Comment number 4.

    These figures are indeed welcome news and let us hope they are part of a better trend. As pointed out in the article they tell a different story to our recent economic growth figures and as pointed out below so did our other economic statistics from yesterday.

    "If you look at out trade in goods then our deficit in the 3 months up to February narrowed by £1.3 billion compared with the 3 months to November 2010. As it is a deficit and we therefore import more than export in total an improvement in the overall number indicates export growth and indeed we do see this with our exports rising by 7% in the latest 3 month period compared to the previous one.......It also offers some hope for an improvement in our economic growth figures as this improving trend does not fit well with what we have received recently."
    http://t.co/q7PqTcp

    It's an interesting point is it not? If unemployment and exports are improving exactly what was the Office for National Statistics measuring with its economic growth figures?

  • Comment number 5.

    It's certainly NOT been 'a decent week' for the number of people who lost their jobs in my office on March 31st. Nor is it for the youth unemployment figures. These figures that have been released only go up to February, and whilst I normally love your articles Stephanie, this one i'm afraid strikes a very hollow note with me. As a public sector worker, MY pay hasn't risen by an average of 2.2%, my colleagues have lost their posts without others to go to and i found the "It could be that the impact of the slowdown at the end of the year will only be seen in future months" to be almost laughable. Yes. It will be in future months. Pretty much around the time the impact of the job losses of March 31st are released if you ask me

  • Comment number 6.

    The fall in unemployment is not statistically significant - news is not getting worse rather than good news. It is a puzzle where the stimulus to the economy is sourced because even private sector earnings result in deflation when you apply true inflation i.e. >RPI. Economics cannot defy mathematics so somewhere spending power is being kept going - is it in the growth of personal debt. I look forward to a thorough analysis and not wishful thinking of the GDP figures when they emerge in a few weeks time.

  • Comment number 7.

    How many times have I heard today people saying something along the lines of 'Inflation cannot be lower as the cost of things is still going up’? I don’t know whether to weep or laugh.

    With all the necessary information at the tips of our fingers, via the keyboards of our internet enabled computers, I am at a loss to understand how the state still manages to fool all the people all of the time.

    Note! The few of us who are not fooled are statistically insignificant and are not covered by this truism.

  • Comment number 8.

    1. At 11:09am 13th Apr 2011, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:
    If we think 4% inflation and 2.48 million unemployed is good news then I'll have some of whatever everone is smoking. More to the point if we believe either figure I suggest we ask ourselves where the 100,000 civil and public service employees that have lost their jobs since the Octobner 2010 have gone in the statistics. I know where they are, do you?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    You're being ridiculous. A drop in inflation and unemployment is always a good thing. I can't see anyone around saying, 'job done lads, let's go home!'. An improvement, however is always good news. To suggest otherwise is being unnecessarily and unjustifiably contrarian.

    I suggest you accept that any movement towards our targets is a good thing. Were the figures worse than expected, you'd be predicting Armageddon.

    Give it a rest; I'm sick of your moaning at good news and bad.

  • Comment number 9.

    NotrthSeaHalibut

    Are you suggesting that public sector workers who have taken redundancy packages are not eligble for benefits and so are not seeking work or appearing in the unemployment statistics yet as the redundancy payments take them above the means tested limits?

    I would suggest that the real increase in public sector job reductions will hit in July and August onwards as the people given notice in April and May will have to serve out 2 and 3 month notice periods.

  • Comment number 10.

    Good news of this nature is always welcome to small business people such as myself, in that if some of my business associates lose their income sources for even a month, it rapidly impacts adversely on my business.

    However, one has to wonder what is going to happen when a tidal wave of public sector jobs are shed, as that process has not really got going yet.

    I just do not see SME's taking on many people, the overhead of having conventional employees is just too great and the Government has not done anything to mitigate that.

  • Comment number 11.

    It's good news folks! Yes you are hurting, but the woman off the telly says it's all ok. Because it's now all ok, we don't need to cut "essential" services like the BBC. Cue Radio 4's Today programme running articles on how terrible it will be if The World Service is cut. We must protect The White City!

    If the economy really is nearly better, let's put interest rates back up. No, thought not...

  • Comment number 12.

    8. At 12:01pm 13th Apr 2011, Marnip wrote:
    You're being ridiculous. A drop in inflation and unemployment is always a good thing. I can't see anyone around saying, 'job done lads, let's go home!'. An improvement, however is always good news. To suggest otherwise is being unnecessarily and unjustifiably contrarian.

    I suggest you accept that any movement towards our targets is a good thing. Were the figures worse than expected, you'd be predicting Armageddon.

    Give it a rest; I'm sick of your moaning at good news and bad.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In fairness to NSH, what he actually says is that the figures don't tell the whole story. And then he explains why. It's a fair point: these figures are not the whole story and there's bad news to come.

  • Comment number 13.

    This might be a daft question, but how is it that the number in employment can rise and at the same time, the number of unemployed can rise as well??

  • Comment number 14.

    @ 7. At 11:57am 13th Apr 2011, Seer

    I'm not sure what you mean. How is the state fooling anyone, or even, how is the state involved here? The Office for National Statistics produces these figures; not the government nor state.

    The wealth of information available at peoples' fingertips really puts the onus on the general public to understand the basic principles determining their financial health.

    When you say 'fooled', you imply the government is going around telling people everything is fine now because inflation and unemployment have fallen. That's a strawman argument that no one has made; the drops ARE good things, but no one has claimed we're out of the woods or over the moon about the figures. They are improvements, though.

    You can't keep taking every bit of news that looks good and exagerrating the state's position on it. Nor should you be absolving people of the personal responsibility to understand inflation themselves. Nor should you be conflating the state with the ONS figures.

  • Comment number 15.

    9. At 12:14pm 13th Apr 2011, Payguy wrote:
    NotrthSeaHalibut

    Are you suggesting that public sector workers who have taken redundancy packages are not eligble for benefits and so are not seeking work or appearing in the unemployment statistics yet as the redundancy payments take them above the means tested limits?

    I would suggest that the real increase in public sector job reductions will hit in July and August onwards as the people given notice in April and May will have to serve out 2 and 3 month notice periods.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Anyone over fifty was given early retirement irrespective of whether they needed to work again or not, and were not classed as unemployed. However, most had to look for work because contra to popular belief the majority of civil servants don't retire on luxurious pensions. This is happening again now, so expect more fudging of the stats.

    Also notice has already been served, they leave en masse in May and July.

  • Comment number 16.

    NorthSeaHalibut et al - 10 secrets of a happy life.

    1. GIVING

    Do things for others - volunteer to work for a charity in your spare time

    2. RELATING

    Connect with people - get in touch with friends with whom you have lost contact

    3. EXERCISING

    Take care of your body - go for a run.

    4. APPRECIATING

    Notice the world around - take time to appreciate wildlife in your area.

    5. TRYING OUT

    Keep learning new things - learn a new language.

    6. DIRECTION

    Have goals to look forward to - make resolutions and stick to them.

    7. RESILIENCE

    Find ways to bounce back - learn from defeats to do things better in the future.

    8. EMOTION

    Take a positive approach - focus on the happy moments of your life rather than the sad.

    9. ACCEPTANCE

    Be comfortable with who you are - do not dwell on your flaws.

    10. MEANING

    Be part of something bigger - join a society or club.

  • Comment number 17.

    @7. At 11:57am 13th Apr 2011, Seer wrote:

    "How many times have I heard today people saying something along the lines of 'Inflation cannot be lower as the cost of things is still going up’? I don’t know whether to weep or laugh.
    With all the necessary information at the tips of our fingers, via the keyboards of our internet enabled computers, I am at a loss to understand how the state still manages to fool all the people all of the time."

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As I said at 107 on Ms Flanders previous blog ( www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/stephanieflanders/2011/04/inflation_consumers_fight_back.html )

    "Dear Ms Flanders/BBC researchers - could you show a graph with a linear line showing CPI growing at 2% annual from Q4 2003 and overplot actual CPI "

    But even with the BBC not pointing such things out, I don't think people are fooled, I am even more pessimistic. I think people understand the situation but recognise that the BoE/MPC are unelected and unaccountable. I think a Chancellor of the Exchequer / Finance Minister making a rates decision that wasn't in line with a Taylor rule would (now) have to present far more reason and would be criticized by the opposition. As it stands the unelected BoE/MPC make a deicision and neither the Coalition nor Labour party do anything.

    H1: People are not fooled
    H2: People know the seat of economic power is the BoE/MPC
    H3: People know they are powerless

  • Comment number 18.

    @ Northseahalibut.

    So where have they gone please educate us

  • Comment number 19.

    "There are now 390,000 more people in work than there were a year ago, though still 331,000 fewer than before the crisis"

    Does not compute: So how come unemployment isn't 390K less than a year ago.

  • Comment number 20.

    Good news?

    I suppose so, at least for those men able to find employment. Not so good for the 14,000 women who found themselves out of work. Or for the 1 in 5 young people who are unable to find employment. I doubt this news will make them feel like "it’s been a decent week"

    Quick question, are there any more in depth analysis’s of these figures? I only ask as this article makes no mention of the types of jobs being created. What proportion of these new jobs are part time? What proportion are short term or temporary contracts? When we know this info it will be far easier to understand the real changes taking place in the employment market.

  • Comment number 21.

    12. At 12:35pm 13th Apr 2011, NonServiam wrote:

    In fairness to NSH, what he actually says is that the figures don't tell the whole story. And then he explains why. It's a fair point: these figures are not the whole story and there's bad news to come.

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    I don't think that's being fair, as much as it's being gratuitous to NSH. If you can point me to whoever is claiming these figures to be the be-all, end-all of problems then I'd be much obliged. The fact is an improvement is an improvement. The alternative might be that these figures were worse than expected, and we would STILL have future public sector losses to impact them.

    The future does alter the fact that lower inflation and higher employment are precisely what we want. It's like an opening position on a balance sheet; it really does matter.

  • Comment number 22.

    Ok but isn't the big story the widening of the North-South divide?

    Its noted here that unemployment still rising in Wales and house price inflation still a factor in London. The Tories depended for fifteen years on the vote south of the line from the wash to Bristol - I think we are headed back to those days.

  • Comment number 23.

    13. At 12:37pm 13th Apr 2011, lionelair wrote:
    This might be a daft question, but how is it that the number in employment can rise and at the same time, the number of unemployed can rise as well??

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    It's down to how things are measured. There's a third category of people who are neither employed, nor seeking employment (on some form of benefits). Those people are economically inactive. It's pretty much the balancing figure, so increases in both employment and unemployment are offset by the economically inactive contingent falling.

  • Comment number 24.

    8. At 12:01pm 13th Apr 2011, Marnip

    Data from the horse mouth below from over e year ago, see any progress?

    Labour market statistics
    February 2010
    Date: 17 February 2010
    Coverage: United Kingdom Theme: Labour Market
    For October to December 2009:
    The employment rate was 72.4 per cent and there were 28.91 million employed people.
    The unemployment rate was 7.8 per cent and there were 2.46 million unemployed people.

  • Comment number 25.

    The unemployment rate is still about 9% and the youth unemployment is still over 20% - we have an awful long way to go. There are still 31 people applying for every job.

    Both the treatment of today's 'news' and yesterday's demonstrate just how poor journalism has become. Journos are so desperate to support the Tory Government that they deliberately 'talk up' the facts to make the people feel better. But I warn you that when the experience of the Nation is exemplified in that 98% of Nurses pass a vote of no confidence in Andrew Lansley you surely have to wonder if you journalists are clinging to the right horse! You need to maintain credibility and you should be very wary of engaging in double-speak! Stick to the facts and the story behind the facts. Stick to the Nation's concerns and worries.

    While I am on about the NHS cuts (as in Andrew Lansley's daft un-piloted reorganisation) - this exemplifies the fears for the future along with the cutting of 980 Ambulance jobs in London - none of these things have happened yet - but the fear is crushing our society and our economy.

    We are not creating jobs fast enough - and this is being caused by the almost complete lack of any debt deflation of the price of productive assets - the past debt is crushing our future. (All due to the BoE's incompetence and the fact that interest rates were, and are still, too ludicrously low.)

    PS also note that a couple more of blue chip companies have today closed and indeed cancelled their final salary pension schemes to both existing and future employees. This is directly due to the low interest rate regime still being pursued by the 'idiots'. Low interest rates = low investment returns = low annuity rates = inability to pay the 'guaranteed' pensions = Mervyn King is to blame. He really must go!

  • Comment number 26.

    16. At 12:49pm 13th Apr 2011, JohnConstable

    Very clever. Wonder if anyone else has spotted it!

  • Comment number 27.

    "We can all take cheer from the fact that the private sector has been creating more full-time jobs - for men and women..."
    Nope, I'm not cheering til this reads: "full-time, PERMANENT jobs with standard employment benefits". I mean there are good jobs and there are jobs that will do to pay the immediate bills (aka "poor" to "bad").
    "The puzzle, if there is one, would be how an economy that is supposed to have been broadly flat between December and February was able to produce 143,000 more jobs than in the previous three months."
    To untangle this puzzle, you have to analize the quality of the jobs and whether "quality" is deteriorating.

  • Comment number 28.

    Some excellent news. I suspect it will be a long slow recovery but hopefully things will just get better from now and the road won't be as bumpy as many are predicting.


    PS. #2. ntp3

    Personally, from the interviews I've seen on CNBC and Bloomberg with Summers, Krugman and Blanchflower, I find them too political and idealistic to be taken seriously as unbiased economists. Summers in particular was in a position of great influence while America was busy blowing up it's humungous property bubble and did nothing whatsoever about it (I believe he was also opposed to banking regulation).

  • Comment number 29.

    Further to my post on Summers and Krugman at #2; Krugman blog April 11, 2011, 'Golden Oldies (Wonkish)':

    "But from the 1970s onwards, what happened was that the drive to base everything on maximizing behavior narrowed the profession’s thinking — and, crucially, led first to a de-emphasis, then to a total forgetting, of the great insights about interaction. We created an economics profession which believed that Keynesian economics, and for that matter Bagehotian finance, had been “proved wrong”; whereas all that had really happened was that those things proved hard to model in terms of perfectly rational maximizing agents. Again, so?

    And there’s a sense in which even New Keynesian economics was wasted effort, at least from a social point of view, because it was mainly a way of showing New Classical types that we can too ground the concepts we already knew in maximizing models. Actually, I don’t think that’s entirely fair: I find that New Keynesian models, especially on the liquidity trap issue, do deepen my understanding. Still, you can understand why Larry Summers says that none of that stuff proved useful in actual policymaking.
    The point, though, is that something went terribly wrong. Put it this way: if all we had known when this crisis struck was 1950-vintage macroeconomics, we would probably have done a better job of responding."

  • Comment number 30.

    19. At 13:00pm 13th Apr 2011, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:
    "There are now 390,000 more people in work than there were a year ago, though still 331,000 fewer than before the crisis"

    Does not compute: So how come unemployment isn't 390K less than a year ago.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    How come you have such strong opinions on the figures and their relevance, but apparently aren't aware of economic inactivity?

    Too many naysayers with not enough information or education between them.

  • Comment number 31.

    It's good news week!

    Isn't there some voting going on next month?

  • Comment number 32.

    If you worked for the BBC and were the economics editor, and you knew that cuts were coming your way. Would you:

    a)Put a positive spin on bad news?
    b)Skip over the core issues so as to report only surface, less scary side issues?
    or
    c)Tell it as it is and upset the people who decide who stays and who goes.

    Hmmmmmm.

  • Comment number 33.

    #16/#26 - Yes! - DC is on this blogg

  • Comment number 34.

    24. At 13:12pm 13th Apr 2011, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:

    Yeh, it's right here:

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=12

    A drop in unemployment accompanied by the economy having 390,000 more people in work after recorded public sector redundancies have taken place, equals an improvement.

  • Comment number 35.

    32. At 13:31pm 13th Apr 2011, Seer wrote:
    If you worked for the BBC and were the economics editor, and you knew that cuts were coming your way. Would you:

    a)Put a positive spin on bad news?
    b)Skip over the core issues so as to report only surface, less scary side issues?
    or
    c)Tell it as it is and upset the people who decide who stays and who goes.

    Hmmmmmm.

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    If any of that could increase the level of criticism of yourself or your organisation, would that not in turn increase the chance of sealing your own fate if jobs are to be cut...?

  • Comment number 36.

    18. At 12:54pm 13th Apr 2011, CorporateAnarchist wrote:
    @ Northseahalibut.

    So where have they gone please educate us

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Around three quarters of all leavers to date were forcibly retired before they were ready (or financially able) to don their pipe and slippers so although they're seeking work they're not in the statistics. This is how they're operating, retire now on a reduced pension or leave later and possibly get even less.

    Despite assertions of good news, I believe the picture is pretty grim. Take a look at the Labour Market April 2011 Bulletin and check out the graphs, figures often hide alarming trends, even fudged figures. For example the rise in people out of work over twelve months tells me a lot more than a 17k overall decrease.

  • Comment number 37.

    Marnip and NSH - Wow!

    How about we say that quite alot came off JSA and moved onto different benifits.

  • Comment number 38.

    34. At 13:35pm 13th Apr 2011, Marnip

    If those graphs are good news I really am a Halibut.

    And thanks for the dig, I don't trade insults, you have no idea who I am, what I do or my qualifications and I have no similar knowledge of you so it's pointless.

  • Comment number 39.

    ~35 - Huh? R U saying that you would choose a) or b)?

  • Comment number 40.

    There was an interesting item on the Radio 4 programme 'More or Less' last week (download still available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/moreorless). The subject was Youth Unemployment and they pointed out that many, (I think was in the tens if not hundreds of thousands) full time students are classified as unemployed because they once sought a part time job and were unsuccessful. This makes the statistic for young unemployed higher than it should be.

  • Comment number 41.

    Not sure if this will have much impact on those of us over 50 and looking for a job. I am a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years experience but at my age there seems to be just no jobs available. You cannot even be flexible and go for lower paid jobs because then you are told you are over qualified. I am not on any benefit and I suspect there are many thousands like me hidden away from the official statistics. The government wants us to work until we are 70 but does nothing to stop the ageism that exists in the market that stops us getting back into work.

  • Comment number 42.

    I think a few people could do with a quick education on employment, unemployment and economically inactive. This short video on YouTube from ONS does the job quite nicely.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/onsstats#p/u/5/Fze4o0bBfcw

    (You never know, it might even help them rant at Stephanie next time she says that a 20% unemployment rate constitutes 1 in 5 people - which, in her defence, she hasn't done this month)

    However, even after understanding that you could still end up with employment AND unemployment AND inactivity all going up. "Gosh" you say, "That doesn't make sense" (I can hear you from here) But it isn't even a clever trick - just the 45,000 that the population aged 16-64 increases by each quarter. (There is an additional clever trick from two being measured 16+ the other one 16-64.......but I don't need to tell you that, if you watched the video)

  • Comment number 43.

    38. At 13:48pm 13th Apr 2011, NorthSeaHalibut:

    It's called deductive reasoning. When you ask questions that make you sound like you don't have a clue, it becomes legitimate to question why you feel the need to be such a pessimist. The problem with pessimism in the economy is that it's self-fulfilling, and very dangerous to spread if it is unwarranted.

    Yesterday, the inflation figures showed an unexpected drop. I spent a bit of time on the Have Your Say feature, and noticed a good 50% + of people commenting who thought there was some government conspiracy to make people think falling inflation = falling prices.

    These people are sitting on the internet with these ridiculously uneducated ideas, fingertips from a wealth of knowledge. Then they go and act on their terribly uninformed opinions. It's dangerous, and affects my life ultimately.

  • Comment number 44.

    39. At 13:50pm 13th Apr 2011, Seer wrote:
    ~35 - Huh? R U saying that you would choose a) or b)?

    -------------------------------------------------------

    No, I'm saying I'd do the job properly, and give some expert analysis on whatever my subject of expertise is, without the spin of any kind. Then I can be recognised as a good journalist rather than a biased one, and so I have a better reputation and therefore chance of retaining my job.

  • Comment number 45.

    People stretch and buy beyond their means - a nice BMW, instead of a Ford, a fitted kitchen instead of a replacement dishwasher. Excellent - GDP on an upward trend. Watch out Germany, the UK is back. Meanwhile on Dragons Den. some smart presenter of new ideas impresses the Dragons with the fact that she can manufacture a widget for 30 pence in China and sell it in the high street for £7.95. Gosh, look out USA, we have the next best thing in global business right on our very shores.
    Unemployment figures are taking as an upward swing, and we should all feel relieved that things are improving.
    In my opinion, it is irrelevant noise in the longterm, which can be marked down in history why a 1 month delay in interest rate tightening occured.

  • Comment number 46.

    There's speculation here that the figures don't include people who've taken redundancy payments and are not claiming benefits. I don't think that's true. ILO unemployment is an internationally recognised measure, and so used for comparisons with other countries. It is based on the Labour Force Survey and so is based on answers individuals give about their labour market attachment. To count as ILO unemployed the individual needs to be out of work, have looked for work in the last 4 weeks and be available to take it up in the next 2 weeks. It's not connected to claiming benefit. People more qualified than me might have issues with the methodology, but I don't think this figure can be fiddled given it's derived from responses individuals give to a survey.

  • Comment number 47.

    Lets us not forget these figures relate to the fall in people CLAIMING unemployment benefit which is NOT necessarily the same as people finding jobs.
    If you have any money, which tends to be older people eg over 50s you can only claim job seekers allowance for 6 months.
    After that according to the official figures you are NO longer unemployed, even if you are.
    Sadly this is playing with numbers , why cant politicians just give us the true figures.

  • Comment number 48.

    The article shows all the various regions of the UK which when you add them up come to -17,000, that is net job losses of 17,000. can any one explain this somewhat contradictory table of data for me please?

  • Comment number 49.

    #43. At 15:20pm 13th Apr 2011, Marnip wrote:

    "These people are sitting on the internet with these ridiculously uneducated ideas, fingertips from a wealth of knowledge. Then they go and act on their terribly uninformed opinions. It's dangerous, and affects my life ultimately"

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Oh, now I get it. It affects YOUR life.

    Enough said, you warrant no further debate.

  • Comment number 50.

    Unemployment figures were affected in America last year by their holding a census that meant thousands of people got temporary work.
    I heard someone from our census on the radio this morning saying that they had 30,000 people ready to go out knocking on doors to chase up all the unreturned forms. Are these jobs included in our figures for this month? Are these jobs full or part-time?

  • Comment number 51.

    Yes lots of great jobs news today (I guess it is all relative!). Specifically with the news about MG reviving production here that is only going to help.
    http://howcome.co.uk/shortly/mg/

  • Comment number 52.

    #44 - Marnip

    So you pick c) and become an embarassment to the establishment and therefore out of a job - a job well done by all accounts, and without spin or bias. But what has that got to do with anything? Perhaps you might be a Brazillian going to work via the tube to do an honest days work, or perhaps a newspaper seller with his hands in his pockets, trying to go home past some crowd control police after a hard day.....Its just the world we live in. Good luck with being an upright, honest man who believes that the just are rewarded. They dont seem to be from where I'm standing. I will leave you with is thought - Bankers Bonuses. The unjust being rewarded for all to see.

  • Comment number 53.

    49. At 16:05pm 13th Apr 2011, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:

    Oh, now I get it. It affects YOUR life.

    Enough said, you warrant no further debate.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ah, because there's something morally wrong with objecting to you spreading negativity that affects me, along with the economic prospects of this country? The sooner you learn that you live in an integrated society the better. The unwarranted pessimism is statistically harmful to my economic prospects, so yes, I'm unapologetic about that.

    I assume you have no interest in your own well-being then. Holier-than-thou as well as negative, I see.

  • Comment number 54.

    Even given the drop in inflation and the weakened state of the economy there is no way rates should be anything like 0.5% for over two years. There are lots of positives out there and this news on jobs is another.

  • Comment number 55.

    52. At 16:18pm 13th Apr 2011, Seer wrote:
    #44 - Marnip

    So you pick c) and become an embarassment to the establishment and therefore out of a job - a job well done by all accounts, and without spin or bias.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    To suggest that this is the case is simplistic. Firstly, it's the moral obligation of a reporter, surely. Secondly, any firing due to good reporting and unpopular views of the bosses would be combatted through legal action, as it would be considered unfair dismissal.

    Being honest and doing your job well as a reporter has its own personal benefits, and can act as insulation against being sacked.

  • Comment number 56.

    46. # Areyoureallysure wrote:
    There's speculation here that the figures don't include people who've taken redundancy payments and are not claiming benefits. I don't think that's true. ILO unemployment is an internationally recognised measure, and so used for comparisons with other countries. It is based on the Labour Force Survey and so is based on answers individuals give about their labour market attachment. To count as ILO unemployed the individual needs to be out of work, have looked for work in the last 4 weeks and be available to take it up in the next 2 weeks. It's not connected to claiming benefit. People more qualified than me might have issues with the methodology, but I don't think this figure can be fiddled given it's derived from responses individuals give to a survey.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm guessing your comments are tongue in cheek?

    What was it said about 'lies, damn lies & statistics'

    The problem with any survey that relies on sampling, is that it all depends on when, where & from whom the sample is taken. Therefore, fiddled or not, is not the real issue. It's how reliable they are in first place!?

  • Comment number 57.

    41. # Big JC wrote:
    ................... You cannot even be flexible and go for lower paid jobs because then you are told you are over qualified. I am not on any benefit and I suspect there are many thousands like me hidden away from the official statistics."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm afraid I have to agree with you.

  • Comment number 58.

    Delighted that unemployment is going down. Maybe there will be a job for me! Officially I am not yet unemployed as my one day a week job is not actually redundant until 31 July. However over the last nearly 2 years I have not been able to boost my income up from one day a week due to lack of work available. So I will not be a statistic even though my income is half of what the Rowntree Trust said was essential for a single person to live on. And my weekly pension does not even cover the journey up north to see my mother and get her place sorted out. Oh well back to job search and application forms.

  • Comment number 59.

    A massive issue is the youth unemployment in the UK – that is what is on the rise, which isn’t suggested in this article.
    Older people are staying in work longer, meaning there is less job opportunities for the young.


    This article goes in to detail in how it is actually less healthy for the older generation to retire & they will live longer if they stay in work:
    http://tinyurl.com/3btqs6b

    “a major study that followed participants over eight decades: “an analysis of the activities and accomplishments of study participants . . . was dramatic. ‘[T]he continually productive men and women lived much longer than their more laid-back comrades. … It was not the happiest or the most relaxed older participants who lived the longest. It was those who were most engaged in pursuing their goals.’”

    Obviously, it is difficult due to the competitiveness in the work force, for the older generation to find more part time role more suited to their age – but those who do are taking the opportunity from their younger counterpart. Unfortunate for those trying to earn some money and get on the career ladder.

  • Comment number 60.

    So there are about 400k more private sector jobs over the last 12 months.

    On that trend we would see 1.6M over the Parliament, but we know there are major public sector job loses about to happen, the impact of the oil price hike is not in the figures yet and there is the prospect of major job loses in the construction industry as the Olympics construction and the Alistair Darling stimulus package winds down.

    What of the OBR's forecast? It requires 2m+ new private sector jobs this Parliament, not 1.6M - and its based in big increases in private debt, which given the tightness of bank lending right now seems highly unlikely and those that can are paying down debt, not spending more, as the sharp drop in retail sales at the beginning of the week demonstrates.

    The odds of sustaining 400k net new jobs every year for the next three years looks very unlikely - I'd say at best towards the end of this year it will tail off and undershoot the target by at least 1M over the next three years, unless there is an Eire style meltdown, at which point the numbers will go heavily negative.

    I simply don't see where new jobs can come from - yes exports are up due to the large Sterling devaluation, but our export markets mainly in the EU are not in good shape either.

  • Comment number 61.

    #54 Si_555

    "There are lots of positives out there and this news on jobs is another."

    Well go on then show us what they are? As for the news on jobs, these latest fugures buck both the trend and forecasts so should be treated with extreeme caution.

  • Comment number 62.

    Obviously this is great good news for everyone – that is unless you’re a deficit denier who was hoping to be proved right!

    So, it seems we can do without those public sector jobs and they can find alternative work in the private sector after all.

    And what about the double dip recession?

    Is that yet to come or was that just another scare story?

  • Comment number 63.

    Its amazing how the doom sayers hate any good news for the country, and yet jump on any bad news. Its equally amazing how uninformed alot of people are about economics.

    The government has a plan to fix the terrible mess that Labour left for them, and so far it seems to be pretty much on course. Considering the circumstances, they're doing a great job, and they should be commended for it.

  • Comment number 64.

    "43. At 15:20pm 13th Apr 2011, Marnip wrote:
    38. At 13:48pm 13th Apr 2011, NorthSeaHalibut:

    It's called deductive reasoning. When you ask questions that make you sound like you don't have a clue, it becomes legitimate to question why you feel the need to be such a pessimist. The problem with pessimism in the economy is that it's self-fulfilling, and very dangerous to spread if it is unwarranted."


    Good. So if optimism is so great, why don't we optimistically invest more in public services?

  • Comment number 65.

    @ 60. At 17:30pm 13th Apr 2011, richard bunning

    Compared to the figures from the previous 2 years, I would say they that the trend shows they could more than meet the 2m target. Growth tends to fuel more growth, and confidence increases.

  • Comment number 66.

    53. At 16:33pm 13th Apr 2011, Marnip wrote:

    Ah, because there's something morally wrong with objecting to you spreading negativity that affects me, along with the economic prospects of this country? The sooner you learn that you live in an integrated society the better. The unwarranted pessimism is statistically harmful to my economic prospects, so yes, I'm unapologetic about that.

    I assume you have no interest in your own well-being then. Holier-than-thou as well as negative, I see.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    I could keep up with the economic theory and ONS stats but how someone on a BBC message board can harm you and the economic prospects of the UK is something I can't comprehend.

    If you're right as an employee of a Government Department soon to shed 40% of it's workforce I fear my potential negativity could adversly effect the international markets and bring the earth to it's knees.

    Please explain and save me from myself

  • Comment number 67.

    Does anyone believe a single word of government released figures - doubt it. People in the UK are aware of the pack of lies this government peddle, plus know what it costs just to get to work and home, before they pay for the roof over their head.

    Their heat and electricity fuel bills plus 5%. VAT. The higher the heat and light costs the more the government rake in in VAT.

    Food bills plus logistics, plus VAT @ 20%. If you have been made redundant; a pensioner, your employer has moved operations abroad etc., etc.

    Importers who truck in products on lower fuel prices that undercut our own truckers who have to meet higher fuel costs and tax, plus standards of vehicle safety too. Yet our country has to meet costs of some other country's truckers who have no respect for our UK laws? Madness!

  • Comment number 68.

    "62. At 17:48pm 13th Apr 2011, Mark_from_Manchester wrote:
    Obviously this is great good news for everyone – that is unless you’re a deficit denier who was hoping to be proved right!

    So, it seems we can do without those public sector jobs and they can find alternative work in the private sector after all.

    And what about the double dip recession?

    Is that yet to come or was that just another scare story?"


    Trust me, those public sector job losses haven't even started. Come back in July when the restructurings are in full swing.

  • Comment number 69.

    @53 Marnip

    I sympathise with your point on all figures being received with pessimism, but I'm afraid you've been sold a lie if you think that we can talk ourselves into recession, or out of it. These employment figures do bring some cheer, as no matter what is in store this is a better starting position for more bad news than another rise in unemployment. That said, the chattering of the man on the street has negligible impact on the state of the economy. The fact is there are a relative handful of people whose position and actions impact the economy, and that's the tragedy of the 'don't talk the economy down' lie. It shifts the blame. Gideon decides he's going to slash 'n' burn? The policies of a million companies are set - budgets frozen, hire-freezes, redundancies. Interest rates rise? The purchasing power of swathes of the population is changed. I find it tragic that the wartime "talk costs lives" mantra has been harnessed to such negative ends. The reality is that, regardless of whether their viewpoint is positive or negative, those who guess wrongly the whims of our masters will hit the wall, or miss the boat.

    Positivity will certainly help you survive the cards you are dealt, but the idea that a wedding can make all the difference is a lie. Unless everyone decides to max the credit card on Chinese souvenirs.

  • Comment number 70.

    No personal criticism Stephanie. But I would suggest that the current Government, not you, Ms Flanders, may be selling the British public another pack of l**s?

    However, don't worry .. be happy.

  • Comment number 71.


    69. At 18:21pm 13th Apr 2011, D_I wrote: Positivity will certainly help you survive the cards you are dealt, but the idea that a wedding can make all the difference is a lie. Unless everyone decides to max the credit card on Chinese souvenirs.

    Anything sold in this country with the union jack on it should HAVE to be made in Britain.

  • Comment number 72.

    Apologies if somebody here has woken up to the inaccuracy of the numbers, but I posted this on the BwB topic of Scottish employment figuers some hours ago, but the article still has the AM timestamp and has not been fixed....... Don't Pacific Quay talk to HQ?

    Not one of your more interesting threads, Brian, albeit commendably unbiased. However, I must congratulate you on the improvement in your mathematical abilities - something your English colleagues seem to have a problem with in the new UK unemployment falls by 17,000 to 2.48m with "Within the overall unemployment figures there were wide regional variations, with the North East generating 11,000 extra jobs but the East of England seeing 15,000 job losses" and similar terminological inexactitudes if your post and the table on that page are to be believed:


    Region Change
    North East 11,000
    North West 6,000
    Yorkshire and Humber 2,000
    East Midlands -4,000
    West Midlands -4,000
    East of England -15,000
    London 1,000
    South East -10,000
    South West 4,000
    Wales 3,000
    Scotland -7,000
    Northern Ireland -4,000

    UK -17,000

    The truth is apparently the exact opposite of the commentary, with unemployment in the North East rising and in the East of England falling.

    What is most noticeable is that those devolved nations where Labour is not in government are doing better than poor Wales, which is lagging behind even England under the Con-L-D coalition.

    A message for the Scottish electorate, perhaps?

  • Comment number 73.

    #53 Marnip

    I'm speechless (°°)

  • Comment number 74.

    59. At 16:53pm 13th Apr 2011, Marco82 wrote:
    A massive issue is the youth unemployment in the UK – that is what is on the rise, which isn’t suggested in this article.

    It's a massive problem and one that should be getting much greater attention - not just a UK problem though it's pretty much global - especially in the industrialised world. 40% in Spain!

  • Comment number 75.

    Without wishing to be over-political about this, i'm really looking forward to seeing what guff the two Eds come out with when the economy starts to pick up and they end up on the wrong side of the argument. Presumably it'll be some catchy, shallow, spin-doctor line like "Too far, too fast".
    As has been said, good news in general but let's hold our breath and keep on peddling faster.

  • Comment number 76.

    `Always look on the bright side of life'... whistle and remember The Life of Brian.

    Wow! Unemployment is down!

    But it is down to 2.48 million unemployed people. What is more there is only one job available for every five of those, so even if we do look on the bright side at least 2 million of those will still be unemployed next time the unemployment figures are announced.

    Forget the rhetoric: it isn't very good is it?

    In 1976 unemployment reached a million for the first time since the Second World War. I remember it well as I was one of them. We have had more than a million unemployed ever since. Now you can call this a flexible labour market, you can call this an available resource or you can call it a failure of economic policy. I prefer to call it a disgrace as well.

    Work is good for people. It creates purpose in life. It can create satisfaction, a sense of achievement, a sense of self worth, of personal value and more importantly a sense of belonging. So why are we relieved that 2.48 million at least are unemployed and another goodness knows how many are economically inactive. We should be ashamed at our failure! This is the real cause of Broken Britain.

    It is pointless people trying to score political points over the level of unemployment. it is not in the hands of the political class to create jobs but it is in the hands of government to facilitate employment. We need once again to aspire to full employment!

    Now the question we have to ask is how do we get these people back into work? It is pointless arguing about the defecit and the time we are taking to pay it off and all that waffle. This figure has been around more or less for 35 years. 35 years! As dear old J Piecemould Gruntfuttock used to bellow on Round the Horne. 35 years!

    This just isn't good enough: is it!

    It is time for a new economic policy and it is the duty of the political class to foster and facilitate this. We need intervention in the economy before breakfast, during dinner and after tea. I am not asking for huge subsidies for failing industries such as the banks, but the means that allow existing businesses to invest, to allow new businesses to start and grow and a commitment to use policy to shift the economic focus away from the broken banks and into the development of more manufacturing industry.

    Now I expect that I will now be told that we cannot compete on labour costs with the Far East. I suppose if you are a bean counter who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing you would think that. However, my view is that given current conditions in say the Chinese labour market such as a shortage of staff, rising wages, domestic inflation, coupled to freight costs, extended lead-times, cost of stock-holding and the cost of finance how true is that? I don't think the difference is as great as it is argued.

    We need to set out to repatriate production and that way work will find itself coming home. We need to develop our own manufacturing capabilities with training, with design and with a greater breadth of understanding as to what a society is all about and what added value can provide for that society.

    It is time to change our outlook,put aside the petty squabbling and work towards value added work for the people of Britain. Welfare is no more than a palliative, an expensive illusion and no solution whatsoever.

  • Comment number 77.

    #73

    I'm stunned at the quality Millbank are using these days

  • Comment number 78.

    "75. At 18:43pm 13th Apr 2011, Peter White wrote:
    Without wishing to be over-political about this, i'm really looking forward to seeing what guff the two Eds come out with when the economy starts to pick up and they end up on the wrong side of the argument. Presumably it'll be some catchy, shallow, spin-doctor line like "Too far, too fast"."


    There's another side to that coin. Presumably it includes something with the initials B and S. Without wishing to be over-political about it...

  • Comment number 79.

    #76 Stanilic

    "It is time for a new economic policy and it is the duty of the political class to foster and facilitate this. We need intervention in the economy before breakfast, during dinner and after tea. I am not asking for huge subsidies for failing industries such as the banks, but the means that allow existing businesses to invest, to allow new businesses to start and grow and a commitment to use policy to shift the economic focus away from the broken banks and into the development of more manufacturing industry"

    Very much agree that we need real incentives to encourage start-up businesses and services that help them succeed and grow. The problem is that with the current austerity measures, massive increases in tuition fees are already a step in completely the wrong direction. The government should be at least subsidising those subjects that will encourage growth in the areas most beneficial to the economy.

  • Comment number 80.

    BTW - if anyone who hopes not to be a patient in any NHS hospital - be very afraid.

    Whatever, Andrew Lansley says or doesn't say - he has already instigated cuts in front line nurse and medic staff after the 2010 Election and hit health service from September 2010.

    Under Andrew Lansley, Private Agency Staff are his dream of the future of the NHS. A kind of 'just in time' philosophy that hit all companies in the 1980s,.

    Fortunately for Mr Lansley, he does not have to rely on the NHS, like most Ministers and MPs he has access to, and can afford private health care.
    - yet bizarrely his doctors and nurses will have trained within the NHS.

    So, Mr Lansley, what do you want? Do you actually understand or represent the people who pay you - not just your immediate constituents?

    Unfortunately, Mr Lansley, you have, shall we say, a long history as regards the NHS as do your Tory compatriates? The public are very aware of Mr Lansley's affiliates during his time in Shadow government.

    Dare I say that Mr Lansley is not to be trusted with the NHS - especially as he has instigated front line nurse and medic staff cuts already. But these front line cuts will never affect any MP or Mr Lansley. Blue light or jumping an NHS queue - all MPs and Ministers are equal?
    .

  • Comment number 81.

    43. At 15:20pm 13th Apr 2011, Marnip wrote:
    38. At 13:48pm 13th Apr 2011, NorthSeaHalibut:

    It's called deductive reasoning. When you ask questions that make you sound like you don't have a clue, it becomes legitimate to question why you feel the need to be such a pessimist. The problem with pessimism in the economy is that it's self-fulfilling, and very dangerous to spread if it is unwarranted.

    Yesterday, the inflation figures showed an unexpected drop. I spent a bit of time on the Have Your Say feature, and noticed a good 50% + of people commenting who thought there was some government conspiracy to make people think falling inflation = falling prices.

    These people are sitting on the internet with these ridiculously uneducated ideas, fingertips from a wealth of knowledge. Then they go and act on their terribly uninformed opinions. It's dangerous, and affects my life ultimately.

    Sorry to be pessimistic Marnip.

    I predicted in the late 1970s that unemployment would be an extra 1 million every decade from then till now and this is correct. (From about 2 million late 1970s to about 5.5 million on benefits now - job seekers, incapacity, income support or other hidden unemployment). 8 million of working age are classed as economically inactive although many of these care for home or family. The reasons are down to loss of manufacturing, mass immigration, work going overseas and new technology. At the same time, there are more people in work, much of it part time, due to population growth. I would like to see the full time working week reduced to 20 hours, and the work shared around so more people contribute to their own destiny, I don't think we can ever have full employment with the present system and we need to think how work and society are organised. Walk round any town in the north of the UK and see the large numbers of young people with very little to do, this needs to be sorted. Making much more stuff here in the UK would be a big help in reducing unemployment.

  • Comment number 82.

    "Good news for jobs"

    Stephanie - do you work for the government's PR department at all?

    Failing that, I've been told there might soon be a vacancy for Health Secretary.

  • Comment number 83.

    43 Marnip:

    ''These people are sitting on the internet with these ridiculously uneducated ideas, fingertips from a wealth of knowledge. Then they go and act on their terribly uninformed opinions. It's dangerous, and affects my life ultimately.''

    Yup, its called democracy.

    North Sea Halibut

    You are also forgetting to mention those pushed out of a job with a handout large enough that at the end of the JSA 6 months non means tested period there is little incentive to sign on and go thru the mill. So suddenly they drop out of the figures

    Is there a measurement of UK underemployment in much the same way I believe the US produce them. That is where the interesting figure would be I suspect.

  • Comment number 84.

    I wouldn't read too much into these figures, my wife has been out of work for almost nine months, although has recently taken up an unpaid voluntary job working in an Oxfam bookshop, and doesn't appear in the figures. I am sure there are many more like her. Plus, when I was made redundant last year, I ended up taking a job earning much less money than I was on at the time - I suspect there are many more in that position too, certainly I can count all eight of my colleagues who were made redundant at the same time. Still, being over 50, I should be grateful I suppose to have a job at all.

    This from FT sheds a bit more light on the figures:
    John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: “It’s clearly good new week for the UK economy. The inflation rate is down, unemployment is down, and pay pressure is down. However, while the jobs figures are apparently signalling green for go, they reflect an improvement in the labour market at the turn of the year and don’t tell us anything much about the road ahead.

    “Indeed, the most up to date figures for vacancies and claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance suggest that labour market conditions softened again in the early spring and it remains likely that unemployment will start to rise again later this year.”

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3bb7a414-65ad-11e0-baee-00144feab49a.html#axzz1JQkQS9Bn

  • Comment number 85.

    81 simondav


    Youth unemployment

    Part of problem is the inflexibility of the apprentice system which insists apprenticeships have to be structured and assessed as a fit to existing jobs, not new ones or recreated traditional skills. There are potentially many heritage and craft opportunities but few apprentice schemes that match them. There is little motivation for a jobbing crafts/arts/artisan to take on somebody without help as they cannot easily carry the cost of training and they risk simply create a competitor at the end of the training.



  • Comment number 86.

    19. At 13:00pm 13th Apr 2011, NorthSeaHalibut wrote:
    "There are now 390,000 more people in work than there were a year ago, though still 331,000 fewer than before the crisis"

    Does not compute: So how come unemployment isn't 390K less than a year ago.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    30. How come you have such strong opinions on the figures and their relevance, but apparently aren't aware of economic inactivity?

    Too many naysayers with not enough information or education between them.


    ----------------------------------------------------

    And in net outward migration...

  • Comment number 87.

    79 United Dreamer

    `The government should be at least subsidising those subjects that will encourage growth in the areas most beneficial to the economy.'

    All that needs to be done is to pay the fees and provide a small maintenance grant for the student.

    Sound familiar?

  • Comment number 88.

    76 Stanilic

    ''Now I expect that I will now be told that we cannot compete on labour costs with the Far East. I suppose if you are a bean counter who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing you would think that. However, my view is that given current conditions in say the Chinese labour market such as a shortage of staff, rising wages, domestic inflation, coupled to freight costs, extended lead-times, cost of stock-holding and the cost of finance how true is that? I don't think the difference is as great as it is argued.''

    There is opportunity, flexible production, near to market, direct sales, networking. Not the dark satanic mills type of stuff, the chinese are welcome to that.


  • Comment number 89.

    80. At 19:18pm 13th Apr 2011, corum-populo-2010 wrote:
    BTW - if anyone who hopes not to be a patient in any NHS hospital - be very afraid.

    Whatever, Andrew Lansley says or doesn't say - he has already instigated cuts in front line nurse and medic staff after the 2010 Election and hit health service from September 2010.

    _________________________________________________________

    More staff doesn't mean better service, just as less staff doesn't mean worse service. Merseyside Fire Brigade cut their staff by 40% and the service improved.

    The NHS isn't understaffed or underfunded - quite the opposite - the problem is that its inefficient and needs reform.

  • Comment number 90.

    83. At 19:52pm 13th Apr 2011, Arthur Daley wrote:
    43 Marnip:

    ''These people are sitting on the internet with these ridiculously uneducated ideas, fingertips from a wealth of knowledge. Then they go and act on their terribly uninformed opinions. It's dangerous, and affects my life ultimately.''

    Yup, its called democracy.

    North Sea Halibut

    You are also forgetting to mention those pushed out of a job with a handout large enough that at the end of the JSA 6 months non means tested period there is little incentive to sign on and go thru the mill. So suddenly they drop out of the figures

    Is there a measurement of UK underemployment in much the same way I believe the US produce them. That is where the interesting figure would be I suspect.

    _________________________________________________________________

    Wake up Arthur. These figures are worked out in exactly the same way as the US (ie Unemployed means looking for work - benefits status is irrelevant) . In fact if you read the post, unemployment benefit claimants have actually risen. The overall fall is due to these "underemployed" as you put it, returning to work.

  • Comment number 91.

    62. At 17:48pm 13th Apr 2011, Mark_from_Manchester wrote:
    "Obviously this is great good news for everyone – that is unless you’re a deficit denier who was hoping to be proved right!
    So, it seems we can do without those public sector jobs and they can find alternative work in the private sector after all.
    And what about the double dip recession?
    Is that yet to come or was that just another scare story?"

    The recent changes in employment and inflation have been marginal.In this I would include the 0.5% decline in GDP over the fourth quarter. None are pronounced enough to constitute a trend one way or another, so both optimism and pessimism are misplaced.

    In any case it will not be down to us but whether what happens in Europe,North America and Asia provides a lifebelt for the UK.

    The United States is still the motor of the world economy,it is being kept afloat by staggering amounts of public debt and deficit.There are doubts about its direction ,in the Eurozone sovereign debt remains a destabilizing factor.

    Small movements in the UK economy are irrelevant to this wider picture.If the global economy flourishes UK government policy will appear to work,if not we will be involved in a common ruin.

    The capitalist crisis has not yet run its course,in fact it`s just beginning.


  • Comment number 92.

    A Reuters report sounds more words of caution:

    A report on Wednesday indicated there had been a big jump in the number of British companies in serious financial distress, with restaurants and the leisure industry hit particularly hard as looming public sector job cuts dent morale.

    "A significant number of public sector staff will have received formal notification of impending redundancies which will have had an impact on discretionary consumer spending," the report's compiler Begbies Traynor noted.

    And:

    "We must remember that the headwinds from the public sector have been relatively light to date and will stiffen significantly this year," said Nida Ali, economic adviser to the Ernst & Young ITEM Club.

    "As the pace of job losses in the public sector accelerates, the private sector will have to work ever harder to create new jobs if we are to avoid unemployment rising again," he added.


    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/04/13/uk-britain-jobless-idUKTRE73C19U20110413?pageNumber=2

  • Comment number 93.

    How many of these jobs are temporary? Created by the ONS even!!!

    Around 35,000 census field staff will be recruited across England and Wales. Recruitment for address checkers and address checker co-ordinators started in January (2011) and completed in March. Area manager and community advisor recruitment started in May (2010) and was completed in July. The drive continues into autumn with 2011 Census questionnaire collectors, census compliance staff and census coverage survey teams. The recruitment campaign will run through to mid-2011.

    2011 Census staff will be employed directly by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), with ONS contractor, Capita, running recruitment, training and payroll services.

    http://news.uktemps.co.uk/uktemps/35000-temporary-census-jobs/

  • Comment number 94.

    75. At 18:43pm 13th Apr 2011, Peter White wrote:
    "Without wishing to be over-political about this, i'm really looking forward to seeing what guff the two Eds come out with when the economy starts to pick up and they end up on the wrong side of the argument. Presumably it'll be some catchy, shallow, spin-doctor line like "Too far, too fast".
    As has been said, good news in general but let's hold our breath and keep on peddling faster."

    Do you mean peddling or paddling? Or was it a Freudian slip?

  • Comment number 95.

    88 Arthur Daley

    `There is opportunity, flexible production, near to market, direct sales, networking..'

    ...local supply chains, highly skilled labour, flexible workshops, working farms, technical colleges..... the list goes on.

  • Comment number 96.

    63. At 17:48pm 13th Apr 2011, Space wrote:
    Its amazing how the doom sayers hate any good news for the country, and yet jump on any bad news. Its equally amazing how uninformed alot of people are about economics.

    "The government has a plan to fix the terrible mess that Labour left for them, and so far it seems to be pretty much on course. Considering the circumstances, they're doing a great job, and they should be commended for it."

    I can`t intellectually respect anyone who parrots the government by peddling the myth of" Labour`s mess." It was produced by the collapse of private capital across the world,governments including our own, acquired debts and deficits in stabilizing trhe chaotic mess caused by incompetence and greed in the private economy.

    The public debt here prior to the recession was lower than that inherited in 1997,the deficit the same.The money went to bring underfunded public services close to European levels.Unless you make the arrogant assumption that the main purpose of government spending is to stabilize private capital when it gets into trouble.

    The present government were so impressed with Labour`s economic record prior to the recession they promised to match it.They demanded less regulation.

    Stop writing nonsense.If you can`t talk about capitalism you can`t talk meaningfully about anything else.



  • Comment number 97.

    90 space

    You can be in work and underemployed, its how many hours. The US table the figures.

  • Comment number 98.

    90 space

    To be unemployed in the UK stats you have to be seeking JSA I believe. There are many seeking work who will not see the point in applying for JSA because they will not receive cash benefits because they hold too many savings. Assistance with job seeking at the Jobcentres in pretty useless if you have specialist skills or experience.


  • Comment number 99.

    #89 space,

    "The NHS isn't understaffed or underfunded - quite the opposite - the problem is that its inefficient and needs reform."

    Can you please supply the facts upon which you base this claim? I truly hope that you do not mean that you believe the present reform proposals represent effective reform.

    Whilst you are at it can you please supply the data upon which you base your claim regarding Merseysida Fire Brigade.

  • Comment number 100.

    space

    err BTW - is that 'space ... the final frontier'

    Its life Jim but not as we know it.....



 

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