Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A Tale of two press releases ....

First Up - The Department for Work and Pensions - Number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance falls across the UK

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen in every UK region over the last month, according to figures released today by the Office of National Statistics. The total number of people claiming the benefit is now lower than in May 2010.

This was part of an overall fall of 330,000 in the number of people claiming the main out of work benefits over the last three years.

According to the ONS, this was accompanied by a significant fall in unemployment of 57,000 on the quarter – a figure which included 20,000 fewer unemployed young people.

The statistics also show:

  • the number of people in work rose by 16,000 over the last quarter
  • the number of people in permanent jobs increased by 49,000 over the last quarter, more than offsetting falls in temporary and part time work
Second - the Office for National Statistics -  Labour Market Statistics, July 2013

For March to May 2013, compared with December 2012 to February 2013,
  • there was a small increase in the number of employed people,
  • there was a fall in the number of unemployed people, and
  • there was a rise in the number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64.
For March to May 2013 there were 2.51 million unemployed people, a fall of 57,000 compared with December 2012 to February 2013. The unemployment rate was 7.8% of the economically active population for March to May 2013. Compared with a year earlier there were 72,000 fewer unemployed people. 

The number of people who had been unemployed for up to one year fell by 104,000, compared with a year earlier, to reach 1.59 million for March to May 2013. 

The number of people who had been unemployed for over one year increased by 32,000 to reach 915,000, the highest figure since 1996. Looking in more detail at the 915,000 people who had been unemployed for over a year, just over half (474,000) had been unemployed for over two years, the highest figure since 1997.


Bayard said...

However, is it not the case that more people are working shorter hours, to put in the same amount, or possibly even fewer, man hours overall as before? They can afford to do this thanks to the New Speenhamland System. So more people are employed (hurrah for good statistics), worker are working shorter hours (hurrah for them, more leisure time) but more money is being spent on the NSS (boo for the country's finances). I am not sure this is what the NSS was supposed to achieve, but perhaps it was. (Another bonus is that it puts the total welfare bill up, giving the Tories more excuse to harry the unemployed.)

Bob E said...

B - "More people supposedly 'in work' but we are working fewer hours overall than we used to" is a point that has repeatedly been made in response to the standard OTT "everything in the garden is lovely again, look, more people 'in work' and fewer claimants" line and even signs that the present shower have realised that simply trumpeting the "numbers in work up and claimants down" line is wearing a bit thin, even amongst an electorate that they and their predecessor administration seemingly managed to persuade "out of work benefits and the people who receive them are evil, m-kay" because of the attention focused by parts of the media on treating people on "zero hours contracts" (estimated at 370,000 in the NHS and Social Care sector) and those doing "workfare" under the Work Programme etc (put by the ONS as 160,000 in yesterday's figures) as both being "in work".

All that said, on ACTUAL HOURS WORKED the ONS seasonally adjusted average weekly hours worked figures released yesterday were :

Average weekly hours worked for March to May 2013 were 32.0, up 0.1 from December 2012 to February 2013 and from a year earlier.