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Pay and self-employment crisis impoverishes as unemployment falls

Wed, 11/06/2014 - 12:41 -- nick

The rate of unemployment fell from 6.8% to 6.6% in the last three months, leading to government rejoicing.

A rise too in the number of people in work - up 345,000 compared to the previous three months - looks good on the face of it.

But there are some huge problems in the latest Office for National Statistics figures - and some are getting worse even as the coalition boasts about the strength of its 'recovery'.

Child poverty set to soar as Government pushes families into penury

Mon, 09/06/2014 - 13:19 -- nick

Child poverty is set to soar in the UK, reaching 3.5 million by the year 2020.

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission said this was likely to be the first decade since 1961 that the measure hasn't fallen as the Tory-led coalition continues its slash-and-burn policies.

These policies will lead to the absolute number of innocent children living in hardship increasing to more than five times the government target.

'Unhelpful, unprofessional, dishonest' - a work programme experience

Wed, 04/06/2014 - 12:32 -- nick

A reader has contacted UnemployedNet to tell us about his recent experience on the government's hated work programme.

In his late fifties, and with a work history that would put most advisors to shame, 'John' (not his real name) was given a sanction because of staff incompetence - something that will be familiar to many unemployed people these days.

John picks up the story:

What are the unemployed for - getting killed in a war

Mon, 02/06/2014 - 14:25 -- nick

The army are targeting unemployed people for its next generation of soldiers, in more proof that the workless are seen as expendable.

A forces-run training scheme has been delivered in Telford and Stoke to 31 people, apparently with the aim of "building self-esteem and skills".

But unlike other schemes the way success is judged isn't in how many are getting jobs; it is how many join up and offer themselves as cannon-fodder in future wars without even being paid like a real soldier.

An economist busts unemployment myths - why not full employment?

Thu, 29/05/2014 - 13:07 -- nick

An economist has challenged some of the myths about unemployment - and we should all take notice.

Ha-Joon Chang from Cambridge University believes the economies of most of the world's countries are set up to keep inflation down, and this pushes unemployment up.

Those at the top of the food chain believe a country works best when there is a pool of workless people who will do jobs for less than those already in them.

This keeps wages low, and low wages mean low inflation.

Self-employed are £74 worse off every week, and work longer

Wed, 28/05/2014 - 12:31 -- nick

Britain's 'recovery' from economic meltdown is well underway, according to George Osborne and David Cameron.

In the last three months 283,000 people found work, and the government talks of corners being turned.

But 183,000 of those 'jobs' were actually self-employment registrations, a totally different proposition according to a study reported today.

The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) surveyed 1,000 micro business owners and found that, despite working longer hours than full time workers, they earned on average £74 per week less.

Inflation rise means working and workless are getting poorer again

Tue, 20/05/2014 - 12:38 -- nick

That didn't last long.

The government crowed last month as it finally saw wages rising faster than prices - if only by 0.1% - for the first time in years, but the latest figures show inflation has risen to 1.8%.

This is on the CPI index; the RPI index, which includes housing costs, is still at 2.5%, and with many claimants having to subsidise their own home costs since the introduction of the bedroom tax this is becoming more relevant.

More than half new 'jobs' are self-employment - and most earn below minimum wage

Wed, 14/05/2014 - 12:29 -- nick

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has today announced another fall in unemployment and rise in employment, but recent troubling patterns are continuing.

In the three months to March 2014, unemployment fell 133,000 to 2.2 million people, or 6.8% of the working age population.

But the fake self-employment that has been dominating the figures continued, and even strengthened.

On the face of it, a rise of 283,000 in employment looks good, but when 183,000 of them are new self-employment registrations there is little positive to take from this.

Civil servants 'not challenging enough' to ministers - and bad policies result

Tue, 13/05/2014 - 13:15 -- nick

Civil servants were overly keen to please David Cameron when he came to power in 2010.

This admission by Peter Riddell, a constitutional expert, explains why policies which are inconsistent with the UK's laws, including the Human Rights Act, have been allowed through with barely a murmur from government employees.

In a BBC report, he said that senior Whitehall staff had not "challenged" ministers enough on their radical new policies.

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