Slower unemployment fall and rising wages point to two-speed labour market

Thu, 14/05/2015 - 14:25 -- nick

The latest unemployment figures show a rapid slowdown in recent falls, down only 35,000 in the last three months.

Between January and March 2015 the number out of work fell to 1.83 million, but the era of quarterly drops of more than 100,000 is well and truly over.

There was better news in the growth in employment - 202,000 more people were in work - but most of this came from the growth in population, including immigration, rather than from the ranks of the unemployed.

McVey loss is no compensation as unemployed wait for the pain to come

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 13:37 -- nick

It was a night that few people expected, and fewer poor people will welcome.

All the noises before last night's election were about the political deals to be made, how a hung parliament might stack up and which bits of the party manifestos would be dumped in the race to squat in number 10.

Instead we got a Tory majority government and a wipeout of compassion in England.

IDS claims he doesn't know where £12b benefit cuts will fall - but did he mislead voters?

Wed, 06/05/2015 - 16:08 -- nick

As part of the interesting 'maths' in their manifesto, the Tories have committed to £12 billion more cuts in benefit payments over the next parliament.

In interview after interview MPs and ministers have consistently refused to say where these cuts will come from, including multiple times to the BBC's Andrew Neil on The Daily Politics ever since the promise was made.

Benefit claimants, the new criminals

Wed, 29/04/2015 - 13:32 -- nick

We have grown used to the coalition demonising workless people.

They appear to have struck political oil, finding a way of describing cuts that make many people poorer - and some destitute - and no-one richer which actually make the government more popular.

There is a fundamental dishonesty to this, the 'success' of which can be seen in a TUC poll showing on average that people believe 27% of benefits are claimed fraudulently when the real figure is only 0.7%, a huge gap that has been stoked by the coalition's 'strivers v skivers' story.

EU consultation - please contribute and help improve unemployed services

Mon, 27/04/2015 - 12:37 -- nick

A new European Union consultation is asking people to tell them what being unemployed is like and to help them improve services.

The main purpose of this consultation is to collect thoughts and opinions from citizens, key stakeholders and experts on measures for long-term unemployed to bring them back into employment, and to shorten the period they are unemployed. In particular they want your views on:

No, Iain Duncan Smith, the problem of zero hour contracts isn't their name

Mon, 20/04/2015 - 13:50 -- nick

The current Conservative-led government has shown a lack of understanding of most of the issues facing those on a low income, whether working or workless.

Their focus going into May's election is clearly on finding ways of justifying proposals which are designed to favour the rich in a way that sounds superficially reasonable to the kind of voters that would actually lose out through them.

Unemployment falls slow as government overstates recovery

Fri, 17/04/2015 - 13:32 -- nick

The monthly unemployment figures released today show a continuation of recent falls, with 76,000 fewer out of work between December and February and the rate down to 5.6%.

This continued a slowing in falls, with 102,000 shown last month, and this is to be expected as fewer people are out of work and fewer are available with the right skills to take up opportunities.

More job vacancies are now available, and it must be hoped that this will provide more high-quality work options for unemployed people.

Threat of further benefit cuts falls as Tories find no support

Mon, 13/04/2015 - 13:29 -- nick

In the middle of an election campaign all parties are looking for that big policy idea that grabs the attention and brings new support to their side.

For the Tories this has meant extending their 'rich first, poor last' policies, finding space in the public finances to give money away to millionaire homeowners even as they pretend the deficit prevents any giveaways.

Only the rich get this treatment; the big Conservative idea for the poor is another £12 billion cut from the benefits bill.

1,000 jobs created every day - but what kind of jobs?

Tue, 31/03/2015 - 14:01 -- nick

Prime Minister David Cameron is practicing soundbites before the May election, frantically rewriting his government's poor record with the aim of finally winning an election.

His new favourite is the claim that his government has 'created 1,000 jobs each day it has been in power', a stunning-sounding figure that appears to be accurate.

1.8 million more people are in work since 2010, and that works out at roughly 1,000 per day.

It is when you dig a bit deeper that things start to unravel.

Only from the middle of 2013 were more employee jobs created than lost.

Poor-quality employment services hold jobseekers back

Thu, 26/03/2015 - 17:55 -- nick

This blog was written by an anonymous unemployed man who has been around the various services for a while. He accuses jobcentres of using sanctions to force people into unsuitable provision, and believes some of them are of such low quality as to be useless in moving the workless into work, with one organisation coming in for particular criticism.