Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis

Liberal Democrat campaigners for Consett North Learn more

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When is Good News Bad News?

by Owen Temple on 10 December, 2013

When it suggests that things are improving under the coalition government, it seems.

At this morning’s Economy and Enterprise Scrutiny meeting we were told that there had been a “small” fall in youth unemployment in the county. At a 22% fall over the last twelve months I didn’t think it was that small. And I thought it was really good news, despite the fact that there are still far too many young people without jobs

We were also told that there had been a “small” rise in the percentage of people in a job last quarter, though for the number of people employed to rise by 2% in just three months (4,800 more people in jobs) is actually pretty encouraging, and I expect that 4,800 are really happy about it.

We all know that everything isn’t rosy – and certainly not for those people still trying very hard to get into work – but there’s something wrong when we can’t take any pleasure in what Good News there is.

And just to keep balance, here’s a fact we we should all be really worried about. The proportion of Job Seekers Allowance claimants claiming for one year or more rose from 34.54% last quarter to 36.12% this quarter, although the actual number of long term claimants has fallen from 4,970 in June to 4,740 in September.

   1 Comment

One Response

  1. Emma says:

    I think Id like to see a further breakdown of those stats.

    What percentage are in part time work but were seeking full time hours?

    How many are enrolled on unwaged, Government work fair schemes, who are still actually receiving out of work benefits?

    How many are on zero hour contracts?

    How many are on low wages and are receiving in work benefits?

    Also if making any comparisons with previous years youth employment stats, we must also take into account that young people can no longer leave education at 16 and must remain in education or training.

    I agree Emma, because you should always look a gift horse in the mouth and those elements have been asked for, and will be reported back. In fairness, though, the same questions apply to the previous quarter’s stats, and therefore don’t undermine the expectation or belief that there is an improvement in the county’s economy.” Owen

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