nick's blog

Further falls in unemployment but wage and claimant numbers disappoint

Wed, 17/02/2016 - 14:01 -- nick

The last three months of 2015 saw most recent employment trends continue, with 205,000 more people in work and a rate of 74.1%, the highest since records began in 1971.

Unemployment was also down by 60,000 compared with July-September, standing at 1.69 million but with an unchanged rate of 5.1% compared to a month ago.

These falls have begun to slow, suggesting a mismatch between the jobs available and the skills unemployed people have, as well as a patchy recovery where some regions and towns do not see the same opportunities as others.

Shocking wage growth shows pain is shared by working and workless poor

Mon, 04/01/2016 - 13:25 -- nick

New research by the Labour Party shows that wage growth will be lower in the Tory decade than at any time since the 1920s.

House of Commons research took the Office for Budget Responsibility's estimate that pay would only grow by 6.2% between 2010 and 2020 as its starting point, showing the last time it was worse was between 1920-30.

Work capability assessent death apology won't change anything

Mon, 07/12/2015 - 14:39 -- nick

When Tim Salter killed himself in 2013 after being found fit for work by the government's hated work capability assessment (WCA), he risked becoming part of a mass of statistical information which took away any idea of the human who suffered and died.

His sister had other ideas. Linda Cooksey knew Tim should never have been passed fit; his mental health problems led to him becoming a recluse, but these weren't picked up by the WCA even after he revealed a previous suicide attempt which left him partially-sighted.

Unemployment fall ends months of rises and pay improves

Wed, 14/10/2015 - 12:02 -- nick

Unemployment has seen a surprise fall of 79,000 in the last three months, bringing an end to a series of rises.

At 1.77 million or 5.4% of the working population the number out of work is at a seven-year low, and employment is also up to a new high of 73.6% according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

These opportunities were shared around: young people and the long-term unemployed also saw lower levels of joblessness.

Iain Duncan Smith's conference speech: same old song, same bum notes

Wed, 07/10/2015 - 16:12 -- nick

The Conservative Party conference reached its own squeezed middle yesterday, as Iain Duncan Smith was hidden away in the Tuesday graveyard shift with his unfounded boasts of 'compassion' and 'tolerance'.

Seasoned Smith-watchers won't be surprised to hear that his speech was littered with half-truths, untruths, mistakes and long-discredited theories, as the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions entered his sixth year in the job he should never have been given.



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