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October 14, 2009


Bored at Work

Not totally suprising to see the Gov (any Gov!) massaging the figures, but nice precis of what's actually going on. Thanks.

And yes I can see the irony in my chosen moniker.

john b

No massaging of figures - this is the ILO standard definition. Not totally surprising to see a blog commenter (any blog commenter) being gratuitiously cynical...


One reason is that economic inactivity has increased. People who would otherwise show up in the unemployment numbers have simply dropped out of the workforce.



@john b

Looking at the difference between labour force under utilisation (Chris Dillow's 5.6 million) and the standard unemployment measure is not cynical. It is just proper analysis.

Look ahead. One thing this means is that when standard unemployment figures eventually go down, they are likely to fall very slowly. There will be a lot of people who had temporarily given up actively searching for a job starting to look for jobs again.


A huge proportion of the increase in inactivity is down to students though. In the ONS release on the quarter inactivity is up 50,000 but of this 42,000 are students. Also what further mudies the waters is that a significant chunk of ILO unemployent is actually full time students as fees and debt force students to work a lot more.


Growth of duel income couples? If one loses their job or goes out of business it's often not worth them signing on.


I'm going to put 'economically inactive' on application forms in that rude 'account for time not already accounted for' box and see what happens.

dave heasman

"People who would otherwise show up in the unemployment numbers have simply dropped out of the workforce."

That's me. Laid off last October, signed on and only got JSA for 6 months because I had a few savings. I'm still looking for a job but don't show up in the figures. I've only been paying NI since 1962 so I guess I'm a mug.

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