Employment – You’ve Never Had it So Good

ONS Employment figures October 2015

Apologies to Harold Macmillan for using his quote slightly out of context: I have not written about employment figures for 3 years but as the latest numbers from the ONS show some of the biggest changes in employment numbers in nearly 50 years then it would seem that today would be a good day to impart the wonderful news,(and the sun is out which always makes things look better).

Without further ado and straight in at number 1:

Employment Rate

1.The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 73.6%, or 31.12 million, the highest since comparable records began in 1971 and up from 70.5% or 29.23 in May 2012 an increase of 3.1% if you believe the ONS but if you believe me then the difference is, after rounding up 6.47% . I did try looking for that comparable figure from 1971 but gave up looking as I could not find it. Interesting that the general press have seemingly just printed what the ONS have given them, which didn’t help my search.

Regardless of political bias, that is impressive. I think. But then I found an article from 1972 which covered the public anger of unemployment rising above 1 million under the Teddy Heath Government, for the first time since the 1930’s which then made we think that (dependent on numbers of people available for and population, that the current employment figures are rubbish in the larger scheme of things ie the last 100 years. But because of political posturing we never get to hear this kind of information anymore, which I feel is a shame. Ultimately, the figures are what they are, and a decrease in unemployment is good news but if this was a school report then you would be justified in saying “room for improvement” and must try harder.

Unemployment Rate

2.There were 1.77 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work). In May 2012, there were 2.63 million unemployed. That’s impressive! A massive 32% drop on the swingometer.

I’m not going to dissect this number as after the debacle of the headline winning employment rate I just don’t believe the effort is worth the reward of not actually having a clue about what the truth of it all is. I suppose the beautiful takeaway from my statement is that nobody really knows what is going on but things do seem to be getting better. The ONS have told us so and Government has also reiterated the point.

Who am I to argue with such high authority?

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