The latest unemployment figures are out, showing the number of unemployed down, the number in work up. Good. Except that they mask realities which are not quite so rosy.
Far too many of those extra jobs are part-time, and taken by people who want full-time work. Then there's the fact that the population of the country is higher than ever, which has an effect on the percentages, and lots of people who would have retired haven't been able to. And the figures are an average; in many parts of the country unemployment has risen again. The Express reports on a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which shows that 66 people "chase every retail job".
But perhaps the most worrying fact is that long-term unemployment isn't going down. While David Cameron threw in a plug for the wonderful Work Programme at PMQs today, it's this group which the WP was supposed to help. And that, perhaps, explains why we still have no results for the first year of the WP. It's those long-term unemployed who were going to provide the big bucks for the providers.