UK unemployment figures were released today, February 15, 2012, and yet aagin they make for grim reading. They figures show an increase for the eigth month in a row. The total is now a massive 2.67 million.
Jobless figures in the UK in the 21st Century are never plain and simple. What is? There are some exclusions so in fact the total will be much higher.
In the three months up to December 2011 ONS, the Office for National Statistics, showed the number of people out of work had increased by 48,000. Whilst some job losses may be ex[plained away as seasonal the promise of Christmas increases work available by way of temporary Christmas jobs.
The number of people claiming JSA, Job Seeker's Allowance or unemployment benefit, rose in January for the eleventh month in a row. January saw a rise in JSA claimants of 6,900. January also experienced the highest increase in women claiming JSA. The increase left the total of women in the UK claiming JSA at 531,700, which is its highest level since 1995.
1995 was two years before a New Labour era began in 1997. The Tories were in power in 1995 and they are again albeit this time with their Coalition buddies the Liberal Democrats. These days the Tories blame most ills on the previous Labour government but they could harldy do that back in 1995. After all the UK had endured a Tory government for many years.
Three years ago unemployment levels in the UK passed the two million mark. It is obvious that global woes have played a part and any political party would struggle with the economy. It is about priorities though and for that you can blame the government.
Since that time there has been a never ending upward trend. Youth unemployment in the UK is currently very high. With more job cuts on the cards yet people being told they must work longer before retiring the situation cannot improve. The coalition seems unable to comprehend that people being forced to work longer before retirement added to job cuts means an ever increasing number of people out of work. That is an ever increasing number of people out of pocket, demoralised, caring not one jot for UK society and more. Get the picture Mr Cameron?
In an attempt at positive spin some pundits have said that the 48,000 increase was less than predicted. Well it is a good job that it was. However a senior economist has stressed things in the UK will get much worse before they improve. John Philipott said, "The problem for 2012 is that most analysts, including ourselves, expect the economy to grow very slowly at best and that will inevitably lead to rising unemployment".
With the UK coalition planning to cut benefit.payments you have to assume that it is cheaper to make people work until they are older than try and address unemployment. That is bonkers is my opinion. Unless they are hoping to make people work until they drop? In that case it will save on paying a pension I suppose!
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog