Cabinet member suggests unemployment of 2.6million is “good news”

May 25, 2012 9:33 am

Energy Secretary Ed Davey is under fire after implying that unemployment of 2.6million is “good news”. To make matters worse, Davey made the statement in the North East – one of the areas hit hardest by the recession.

According to the Newcastle Journal, Davey said:

“What has been good news is how the labour market has reacted, how unemployment has reacted…We have not seen the big increase in unemployment that many people predicted.”

Classy stuff from Ed Davey – considering unemployment in the North East stands at over 11%. Do’t congratulate yourself just yet…

  • treborc1

    Does it not remind people of the Major party, I’d be surprised if the Tories now come out with, we will supply the out of work with bikes.

    It’s nice to see all the  warning from the disabled about A4E, Remploy, and the Shaw Trust seem to be true, none of them are finding work for the vast majority of the people who knock on their doors.

    Tory and employment

  • charles.ward

    Unemployment was at 2.5 million when Labour left office.  The coalition have eliminated a quarter of the deficit and while doing this unemployment rose by only 200,000 and is falling again.

    Davey said:
    “We have not seen the big increase in unemployment that many people predicted.”Which is perfectly true, under the coalition we have not had a big increase in unemployment (despite the cuts).  The big increase in unemployment happened under Labour.

    • aracataca

      Absolute rubbish. If they carry on with their current policies unemployment is due to continue rising until 2016. 
      The Tory party and mass unemployment go together like a horse and carriage. Check out the history books.

      • treborc1

        Public sector anyone.

        • Billsilver

          That’s only because they keep voting for him. Let Wales raise their own income tax and directly employ the public sector. They’d soon be calling on the IMF for money. Remarkable how subsidies remove any common sense from politicians isn’t it.

          • treborc1

             Well of course you lot entered Wales took us over, no good blaming the Welsh because you lot cannot stop inferring in other countries

          • Billsilver

            ‘You lot’ seems a little inflammatory doesn’t it treborci? As I didn’t ‘blame the Welsh’ are you blaming them? Or is this the traditional victimhood approach?
            Chips, shoulders, and everything in between it seems – and is ‘inferring’ interfering?

          • treborc1

            I’m happy to have your 15 billion, after all nobody in Wales has a job so pays tax.

          • Billsilver

            “…….nobody in Wales has a job so pays tax”. Spot the deliberate error.

          • treborc1

            Nope

      • Mark

        You’re right. 

    • Mark

      The headline figure for unemployment fell a little because desperate unemployed people, unable to secure well-paid full-time work, have been forced to accept whatever part-time work becomes available. Long-term unemployment is soaring and the number of people wanting full-time work forced into part-time jobs is at an historic record high.

      Things are bloody awful.

      Here’s some opinions from assorted economic gurus:

      Reaction: Unemployment falls but part-time working reaches record high

      • jaime taurosangastre candelas

        “The headline figure for unemployment fell a little because desperate unemployed people, unable to secure well-paid full-time work, have been forced to accept whatever part-time work becomes available. 

        Everyone will sympathise with those in the unfortunate position of being unemployed, but given the reality, what would you prefer them to do?  Remain fully unemployed rather than part-time employed?

        • Mark

          The point is that the part-time unemployed pay little or no tax and are, more often than not, still dependent on substantial support from the state. All that happens is that the unfortunate people affected swap a life of out-of-work poverty for a life of in-work poverty; they’re live are not improved and the welfare bill remains bloated because they cannot support themselves by their labours and HAVE to receive top-ups from the state.

          In the UK we have two massive problems:

          (1) Visible unemployment,

          and,

          (2) Invisible under-employment.

          Both of these things devastate lives and do nothing to help Great Britain get back on its feet and improve its economic situation. Hence boasting vacuously about unemployment “going down” when all that is happening is that small numbers of the unemployed are swapping unemployment for under-employment is pyrrhic.

          As the statistics and social costs will eventually bear out.

          Osborne’s policies are actually and factually NOT working.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            If you wanted to make that point it would have been simpler to actually make it, instead of writing a sentence that instead infers that there is something wrong with people taking part-time unemployment when they are unemployed.

            Even if the macro figures for benefits don’t go down on a national level, it is still better for individuals to have part-time work rather than full-time unemployment.  Not necessarily financially, but in terms of self-worth, perhaps some new skills, and keeping a working routine going rather than – as a few do – letting themselves slip into a withdrawn lifestyle that only increases the risks of unemployability on top of unemployment.

          • Mark

            Well, why not rename “part-time work” as something like “semi-waged occupational therapy” or similar? As far as I can see the only reason anybody would want to do a low-paid unskilled job for a private profit making company is for the money. Personally, I doubt very much that a well paid clerical worker with tertiary qualifications, sacked from the public sector, will get much of an ego-boost out of doing a part-time minimum-wage unskilled job simply because there is nothing suitable or better available for him/her as far as employment goes: I really don’t believe that most men and women finding themselves in an invidious position like this will be gratified that fifteen hours a week stacking shelves at Lidel’s will at least save them the embarrassment of having a gap on their CV due to unemployment when beforehand they earned a good salary in a profession. 

            My main point is actually political and economic rather than psychological and it’s this: When the coalition claims that unemployment is falling and implies that this is a signal that its policies are working, that lives are being improved as more people move into work, and that the country is moving forward out of double-dip recession towards a brighter future it is shamelessly dissembling and being grotesquely disingenuous.

            Drowning men grasp at straws I am given to understand. Little wonder then, with a diet of repeatedly downgraded economic forecasts and universally bad news, the coalition should seize upon any crumb of comfort to garner solace from like the fact that less than 50,000 men moved into part-time recently while women’s unemployment, youth unemployment, and long-term unemployment all rose inexorably.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            You seem to have something against part-time work.

            You avoid the point.  If someone is unemployed, why is any offer of part-time work something bad?  Or in your original post “forced”.  If I were in that situation, I would not think it forced, and I would be grateful, and regard it as a very low, but useful rung on a ladder.  Useful in the sense of some small income, self-respect, and giving me a reason to get back.

            Do not try to make out that I support somehow the general situation.  I do not make that point.

          • Mark

            I have issue with involuntary part-time work forced on people (who want and need decently paid full-time work) because of a failing economy. Such a situation is tragic for the individuals concerned and ultimately disastrous for the economy generally. This is a recipe for irreversible national decline. People will eventually cotton on to what is happening because as the full force of the cuts hit and the economy flat-lines every single person will suffer the consequence of these cuts themselves and/or see someone that they care about or know – a father, mother, sister, brother, colleague, workmate, neighbour or friend – suffer distress and difficulty as the coalition continues to slash and burn and run the economy into the ground.Then comes the next general election which will be interesting if the economy is still dead on its feet.So you see I don’t have an issue with part-time employment but I do have issues with workers seeking full-time jobs being driven into accepting part-time positions because part-time work is the only kind of work available to the unemployed as an alternative to the poverty associated with struggling to live on benefits.

    • BenM_Kent

      The OBR said unemployment would be 7.6% by now.

      That shows how useless Osborne has been. 

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