The successful UK economy is not as successful as we are led to believe. With unemployment said to be around 2 million, the real figure is more like 4 million when those on incapacity but capable of work are taken into account.
I would argue the real figure should be even worse than this – if the books hadn’t been well and truly cooked with a huge dose of social engineering. For instance, let us ‘remove’ certain elements in place today that were not there previously.
Once upon a time, a person could register for unemployment benefit if out of work as young as 16. Now you have to be 18 to qualify. Benefit was automatic if you lost your work. Now there are ‘categories’ of unemployment for which you get nothing.
Then there are those taken off the workforce who would otherwise have been there. Typical is the army of people encouraged to university for non-academic courses. Soon, the student population will be approaching 50% of 18 to 21 year olds.
COOKING THE BOOKS
If unemployment was measured, today, by the same rules employed during the days of mass unemployment, I fear that the real total will now dwarf that total from the past. You can add even more if you sacked all the ‘spinners’ who cook the figures in this way.
© Anthony North, August 2007
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