Wednesday, 17 October 2012

More figures - but not the right ones

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.


  1. I also read about the new £1200 grant to start up your own business,checked the DWP/JCP websites,but no guidelines have been published.The cynical side of me has a lingering doubts about this, 1.£1200 Grant 2. This will keep you off JSA for 26 weeks 3. Will you be able to claim Working Tax Credits? 4. Will the WP provider be able to claim an outcome payment? If there is a payment,then in my mind this is not about the unemployed,but ensuring that the WP and those that have supported it can claim success at any cost,while coining it in,they cannot change the contract but they can change the playing field.

  2. "It's those long-term unemployed who were going to provide the big bucks for the providers"

    Maybe they're simply incapable of getting results, even if they were offered all the money in the world.

  3. The unemployment industry has always been very keen to push people, no matter their background or ability, into self employment. If you tick the right boxes, as someone advertised by Working Links back in the day did, you get this money and the government gets one less claimant.

    This was when i was charged to go and see Working Links (putting the help I had found for myself at risk, which the government didn't care about and which required negotiation to correct). Their website had a 'testimonial' from a welsh lad that wanted to become self employed as a guitar teacher. I have no idea whether he became successful, but he was abel to get his guitar repaired at their expense, something they proudly advertised. When I asked if I could get funding for what I wanted (which tbh I didn't expect) I was roundly rebuffed "how will that get you a job?"

    Does fixing someone's guitar guarantee them a job? Does giving them £1200 guarantee they will become a successfull self employed music tutor in a time of recession?

  4. I am one of those Long term Unemployed. A4e are Helping/pushing me go self-employed, I'm not at all sure about it, but feel now I have to go ahead with it. My advisor did say once the self employment ball is rolling they don't like people changing their mind on it.

    I have been on a4e Over a year now and not secured even one interview, I see how a4e get paid when I stay in work for a period of time, that only makes me more sceptical about their motives telling me to go self employed. I feel like I'm being rail-roaded into this. Not sure the business will work Or where the customers will come from.

    On the other hand I could sign off JSA, onto low income working tax credits ( I have been told by a4e) and call myself self-employed. Im not sure what to do?


Keep it clean, please. No abusive comments will be approved, so don't indulge in insults. If you wish to contact me, post a comment beginning with "not for publication".