Unemployment is down, there are fewer people claiming jobseeker’s allowance, and more people are in work than ever before. So, the top line on today’s employment figures: They’re good news.
The real picture is more nuanced. Unemployment is down by 4,000 on the previous quarter, a figure that is dwarfed by the margin of error. We might reasonably expect the real number of unemployed to be anywhere within 85,000 above or below the 2.51 million quoted.
There have been nine straight months with fewer people claiming jobseeker’s allowance, but the unemployment rate is still 7.8% – just where it was in August 2012, and a meagre 0.1 percentage points lower than the 7.9% it stood at when the coalition was formed.
And 69,000 extra jobs (taking the total number of people in work to 29.8 million) is undoubtedly good news. But ad idem Sunday’s Chris Bryant, these jobs have gone to immigrants.
You can see in the graph below what’s happened to employment levels by country of birth since the recession. Today’s figures showed that – where we know people’s country of birth – compared with the previous quarter, 135,000 more people who were born outside the UK have jobs here, while 15,000 fewer people born in the UK do.
Tags: Employment, Jobs, Unemployment