The number of people in the UK who are unemployed has been steadily rising for months. The actual number of unemployed people will be much higher than the official figures claim. Over the years the jobless figures have been manipulated so many times it is hard to know the true extent of the problem.
However such manipulation has always been in order to enable the figures to look better than they are. This means that today's announcement, that the UK jobless total is now at its highest for 17 years, must be a case for concern.
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics, or ONS, show that although the number of people without work is continuing to rise the number of benefit claims has not kept pace. That can only lead you to come to the conclusion that some people are existing without any means of support.
ONS figures relate to the three month period leading up to October. This means they will include school leavers but the facts speak for themselves. The highest level of unemployment for 17 years. That takes us back to the last Conservative government.
During this three month period the number of people out of work in the UK rose by 128,000. Sadly young people have been hit hard by increased levels of unemployment. UK youth unemployment, which covers 16-24 year olds, hit its highest level since records began in 1992. It reached the 1.027 million mark which is a disgrace.A new generation of bright and keen individuals will soon be battered into submission and despondency.
The coalition government's employment minister told Sky News, "There's certainly an unemployment challenge for us, nobody doubts that. "My view is that any level of unemployment is too high so we've got a big job on our hands." You certainly have. It is also an important job which needs addressing sooner rather than later.
UK unemployment remains at 8.3% in spite of today's announcement. That figure though may be affected positively by people who are unable to claim unemployment benefit.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog