Dead Men Left

Friday, April 01, 2005

Full employment (or not)

Despite much hullaballoo from New Labour true believers and a goodly amount of pre-election trumpeting from the government about its economic achievements, it's a plain exagerration for Gordon Brown to claim that: longer the country of mass unemployment, Britain is now advancing further and faster towards full employment than at any time in our lives.

Another somewhat Labour-leaning think-tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, has just published its own report on the government's employment record. John Adams of the IPPR concludes that

While levels of employment have improved in recent years, the UK is far from being at full employment.

The report, A Full Employment Region can be downloaded from the IPPR site. (PDF format). Adams estimates that 1/5 of the working age population in the North East, the region the study focuses on, are claiming "state benefits relating to worklessness" (as distinguished from the official unemployment count), suggesting that the problem of regional unemployment is hidden by little more than the kind of statistical massaging the Tories were so good at.