- Wednesday, 18 April 2012
- Written by Steve Jones
The government has been trying to take some quiet comfort from the new unemployment figures announced today.
According to the BBC report: 'UK unemployment has registered its first fall since last spring, according to official figures. Unemployment fell by 35,000 to 2.65 million over the December-to-February period, according to the Office for National Statistics'
However the report concludes with this quote from Mike Fetters, director at jobs website Totaljobs.com:
"Today's figures flatter to deceive. Whilst on the surface they look rosier than those of the past few months, they hide a number of concerns - not least the staggeringly high levels of underemployment. We have seen the retail sector take another battering, with more closures announced, and concerns for the eurozone have resurfaced."
Certainly the 35,000 drop figure hides some damning facts:
- Although unemployment fell, claimant numbers rose by 3,600 to 1.61 million.
- Unemployment is 170,000 higher than at this point last year.
- Youth unemployment is at 22.2%
Long term unemployment is becoming more prevalent and now stands at 50% more than last year. Part-time working has also increased with workers taking these jobs rather than being unemployed. 89,000 joined the ranks of part-time working in January taking the level to 1.4 million, the highest since records begun. Had these workers gone or stayed on the dole then the unemployment figure would have been higher not lower.
The outlook remains gloomy. New jobs cuts are being announced daily. More public sector jobs went at the end of the financial year with many more under threat during the months to come. Soon a new wave of students will be leaving university without jobs. The Tories have nothing to offer them. This is the reality of capitalist crisis, not the government spreadsheets and balance books. Some unions are rightly starting to organise the unemployed - the working class must unite and fight as one force: workers, unemployed, students, youth and pensioners. The only way forward is socialism.