nick's blog

Unemployment falls but UK not out of the woods yet

Thu, 19/02/2015 - 14:29 -- nick

Unemployment in the UK fell again in the last three months, seeing a drop of 97,000 to 1.86 million or 5.7% of the workforce.

With the number in work growing by 103,000 between October and December 2014, the labour market looks like it is returning to some measure of health.

One of the big problems of the recession is the rise of fake self-employment, driven by those made redundant who could not find paid work.

This is only now starting to unwind, with a small drop of 19,000 to 4.4 million in the last three months, but still up by 88,000 on the year.

No, Guardian, IDS is not the Tories' election 'secret weapon'

Mon, 16/02/2015 - 14:24 -- nick

The majority of the mainstream media, whether print or broadcast, has lined up behind the coalition to bash unemployed people since 2010.

Where once a TV documentary was more likely to present unadulterated fact, many now prefer to take the 'fly on the wall' approach, pretending we are simply watching the natural behaviour of claimants while editing to make them fit pre-conceived ideas of laziness and entitlement.

How inequality works - £5b football deal will not see clubs pay living wage

Thu, 12/02/2015 - 13:49 -- nick

England's Premier League is one of the world's most exciting - and the most watched football league in the world.

Its most recent TV rights auction still took many people aback though, with more than £5.1 billion set to roll into clubs from 2016 to 2019, a 70% increase.

The team that finishes bottom of the league will receive more than £100 million from TV channels alone under this deal, a huge increase on their current arrangements.

This may be a good time to ask where all that money will go.

Unemployment can be fatal for too many - and the UK is worse than most

Wed, 11/02/2015 - 13:34 -- nick

We all know that unemployment is hard on body and soul.

But according to a new study, it actually causes 45,000 suicides worldwide every year.

Doctors' magazine The Lancet has published an article showing that, across 63 countries from 2000 to 2011, worklessness was responsible for more people taking their own lives than economic strife.

Jobcentres 'did things for people, now do things to them'

Wed, 04/02/2015 - 13:50 -- nick

The parliamentary committee examining benefit sanctions right now is bringing welcome scrutiny to the issue, after years of unemployed people receiving shocking treatment at the hands of the jobcentres that are meant to help them into work.

Witness after witness from within the system, as well as from academia, support groups and advice agencies, has lined up to pour scorn on the way that meagre incomes are ripped away from some of Britain's poorest people in the most dishonest way simply to fulfil the coalition's targets and allow them to transfer funds to the rich in tax cuts.

Express delivers ignorance and idiocy on unemployment

Mon, 02/02/2015 - 14:37 -- nick

The Express has long vied with the Mail for the title of 'least informed newspaper on the issue of unemployment', so today's story comes as no surprise.

The paper has bestowed its own title on Peter Rolfe, whom it has called 'Britain's most feckless father' because he has 26 children and receives benefits to support some of them.

Rolfe, from the Isle of Wight, has apparently been on benefits for 20 years, and the Express has gone to a favourite Tory rent-a-mouth for a hate-quote.

IDS fails on freedom of information - as he did with us in 2013

Fri, 30/01/2015 - 14:03 -- nick

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), bane of the lives of unemployed people, has refused a legitimate request for information from a BBC reporter.

Iain Duncan Smith's DWP has made a name for itself as one of the most vindictive arms of government since the coalition came into power, far more concerned with saving money than serving its jobless customers, and as useful as a wet paper bag in getting people into work.

Cameron's top election priority - take more money away from poor people

Tue, 27/01/2015 - 13:53 -- nick

Today marks the important point at which there are exactly 100 days to go until the general election.

All the party leaders have marked the occasion by setting out their most important policies, knowing that they will have the eyes of the country on them.

As you might expect, Ed Miliband for Labour has emphasised the importance of the NHS, pushing home his party's advantage in this area.

All-lunatic-fringe-UKIP wants to ban benefit claimants from driving

Thu, 22/01/2015 - 12:50 -- nick

UKIP has done it again.

One of its serving councillors, Lynton Yates from Leicester county council, has issued a leaflet in support of his campaign to become MP for Charnwood, and it includes a policy which will shock unemployed people and other benefit claimants.

According to The Guardian, Yates railed against the idea that claimants should be allowed to drive, preferring to erode their rights while misunderstanding what benefits are and who gets them.

Slowdown in unemployment falls as young people find job problems

Wed, 21/01/2015 - 13:33 -- nick

The unemployment figures for the last three months have shown a worsening of conditions even as salary pressures ease.

Between September and November 2014, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the number out of work went down by 58,000 to 1.91 million, the smallest fall for a year.

The number in work saw a similar issue, with only 37,000 more to sit at 30.8 million, the smallest rise for a year and a half.

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