osborne slick

Osborne’s slick PMQs performance

17 June 2015 13:08

PMQs was not the normal, partisan slug-fest today. Instead, there were a slew of serious questions on the challenge of Islamic extremism at home and abroad and the migrant crisis.… Continue reading


Unemployment down again as the jobs miracle continues

17 June 2015 11:52

Ahead of his PMQs debut, George Osborne is boosted by the news that unemployment is down again. As the chart above shows, the government’s jobs miracle continues with just over… Continue reading

Last year, employment rose faster in Yorkshire than in France (Photo: Getty)

How Cameron’s jobs miracle ate his immigration target

26 February 2015 13:06

The embarrassing truth is that David Cameron did not think carefully about this pledge to take net immigration into the ‘tens of thousands’. The pledge originated in a Thick-of-It style… Continue reading

A waitress poses with the plate she brin

Guardian journalists might not like the Work Programme but jobseekers (like me) do

28 January 2015 16:20

The government’s Work Programme, launched in 2011 to help long-term unemployed people into work, has been widely condemned in the media. It has been portrayed alternately as greedy, cruel or… Continue reading

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 12.50.09

The British economic recovery, in 12 graphs

23 January 2015 14:48

Everything seems to be falling into place ahead of the election for the Tories. Today’s data shows high street spending rising at the fastest rate for more than 13 years –… Continue reading

(Photo: Getty)

Labour might not like to admit it but economic growth has created an employment boom

21 January 2015 13:49

With 105 days to go until the General Election, politicians of all sides will be slugging it out between now and 7 May. The starting gun has been fired and the… Continue reading

Lord Freud (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid, Getty Images)

Miliband takes on Cameron over Freud; Ukip gets a dig on recall

15 October 2014 13:48

When Ed Miliband started speaking at PMQs today you could tell straight away that he had a foul sore throat. Combine that with the promising unemployment figures out today and… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Jobs figures: good news on unemployment, bad news on wages

13 August 2014 10:30

Today’s labour market figures have enough in them for both sides of the political debate to feel they’ve got something to run with. First, the jobs: the overall unemployment rate… Continue reading

Jon Cruddas. Image: Getty

Jon Cruddas is right – Miliband’s dole policy is punitive. And pointless

29 June 2014 10:57

I’ve always admired Jon Cruddas, and worried a little at his being placed at the centre of Ed Miliband’s policy unit. What happens if he talks sense? Well, my fears… Continue reading


You know you’re a European when…

22 May 2014 13:14

Today’s European election is not just a matter of deciding who gets to represent my made-up region in Brussels’ toy town parliament. It is a celebration of our common heritage… Continue reading


Why Fraser Nelson is wrong about a jobs ‘miracle’

16 April 2014 15:52

In his blog earlier today, Fraser Nelson argues: ‘The UK jobs miracle is happening mainly due to radical welfare reform – the type Labour ducked in office..Under Labour, record numbers… Continue reading


Osborne offers optimistic promise to ‘blue collar’ voters

31 March 2014 16:42

George Osborne’s commitment today that the Conservatives will fight for full employment in Britain is another way for the Chancellor to make an iconic gesture towards ‘blue collar’ voters who… Continue reading

Jobs centre

Jobs figures suggest Cameron and Osborne have survived their 364 economists moment

22 January 2014 11:15

What is Ed Miliband going to ask David Cameron about at Prime Minister’s Questions today now that the latest employment figures show the biggest quarterly increase since records began, and… Continue reading

Caught Smoking

Ten things that went badly right in Britain in 2013

20 December 2013 14:59

This was supposed to be the year of strife, strikes, misery and more. Instead, to the surprise of Britain’s politicians, things have instead gone badly right. I look at them… Continue reading


Good news for the government: Unemployment falls again

18 December 2013 10:34

More positive economic news this morning — the unemployment rate has fallen. In the last three months, unemployment has taken a surprising drop to 7.4 per cent, compared to 7.6… Continue reading

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke Addresses MIT Graduates

Science versus Arts – which degree is harder?

1 December 2013 14:00

People get competitive about the difficulty of their degrees. The accepted line at Oxford is that Science is harder than Arts, and everything is harder than PPE – three years… Continue reading

(Photo: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty)

The government must prevent young people from falling into the benefits trap

20 November 2013 16:24

Despite promises to be ‘tougher than the Tories’ with regards the welfare bill, shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves MP was today batting away headlines suggesting that Labour was considering plans to… Continue reading

King Rib supper, single smoked sausage, pickled onions, saltnsauce. My supper yesterday, actually.

George Orwell’s lesson for Jamie Oliver

27 August 2013 17:08

Jamie Oliver, eh, what a card? Why can’t Britain’s revolting poor eat better food? If they can afford televisions they can afford mussels and rocket too, don’t ya know? Something… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Unemployment figures: All good news?

14 August 2013 17:20

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.… Continue reading

Zero-hours contracts are not for everyone; but they can be a good option for those groups that can't work regular hours.

Zero-hours contracts have their place in the labour market

5 August 2013 18:32

One million people on zero hours contracts, scream the media - quoting figures released today by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. This is at odds with recent ONS figures that… Continue reading

for those 65

Economy continues greying as unemployment falls

17 July 2013 21:30

As ever there’s good and bad news in today’s jobs numbers. Unemployment fell by 57,000, but the number of people in employment only rose by 16,000. The figures also show… Continue reading

Is Britain working?

David Cameron sings the good jobs news, but can Labour deal with green shoots?

12 June 2013 18:00

There was plenty for David Cameron to sing about at today’s PMQs when it came to the ONS’ latest labour market figures, and sing he did. He said: ‘First, it… Continue reading

Is Britain working?

Unemployment rises… or does it?

15 May 2013 15:29

Today’s job statistics are, as usual, mixed — and even a touch confusing. Last month, the headline was that the unemployment had risen to 2.56 million. This month, we’re told… Continue reading

Graphic: Carla Millar

Has the jobs recovery stalled?

17 April 2013 16:39

The number of people in work in December to February was 29.698 million — lower than last month’s 29.732 million and representing a very slight 2,000 quarter-on-quarter fall — according… Continue reading

What do the figures say about Thatcher's economic record? Picture: Getty Images

Margaret Thatcher in six graphs

10 April 2013 12:58

With the debate swirling about Margaret Thatcher’s legacy and her government’s record, it’s worth taking a look at what the cold, hard economic data has to say about her time… Continue reading