Thursday, February 18, 2010

The statistics speak

According to National Statistics' Labour Market Statistics Statistical Bulletin - February 2010 (PDF) there is an interesting employment picture in the UK.
The number of people in full-time employment fell by 37,000 on the quarter to reach 21.22 million, the smallest quarterly fall since the three months to July 2008. The number of people in part-time employment increased by 25,000 on the quarter to reach 7.67 million. There were 1.04 million employees and self-employed people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job. This is the highest figure since records for this series began in 1992 and it is up 37,000 on the quarter.
That is, on top of the 2.46 million actually without jobs, 663,000 of whom have been out of work for over a year. they are included in
The inactivity rate for October to December 2009 was 21.3 per cent, up 0.2 on the quarter but below the record high of 23.3 per cent recorded in 1983. The number of inactive people of working age increased by 72,000 over the quarter to reach a record high of 8.08 million. This increase in inactivity was largely driven by the number of students not in the labour market which has increased by 62,000 on the quarter to reach 2.26 million, the highest since comparable records began in 1993.
3.5 million people comprise the make-up of the reserve army of labour that is essential to capitalism, our system of society could not exist without thse 3.5 million. A great many more re hunkering down and taking themselves out of the jobs market as long as they can until things clear over.

Of course, these figures are dwrfed by the 21.22 million who are actually in full-time employment. But for every seven people who have a proper job, one person is un-or-underemployed. That would be true, if unemployment were scattered around, but we all know it concentrates, in communities like Lambeth, which have high levels of unemployment and low pay generally.

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