Government massages figures in miracle turnaround

There was a post – can’t remember which – in which a lady tried to quote government stats as some sort of proof, to which I mentioned what we all know – government stats are massaged. I even linked to news items on it.

She wasn’t having any of it – the government never lies in her book – so I’ve had to wait for the next incident to show the true state of affairs. And here it is – Cameron’s laughable claim that unemployment is lowest since records began. The Telegraph turned this into employment highest since records began.

The most interesting thing is that no one – left or right – is buying it. Telegraph readers, Mail readers and Guardian readers all say the same thing – that there are factors distorting this:

1. transfer of Jobseekers to Work Programme;

2. disabled kicked off benefits;

3. the Olympics;

4. proliferation of part time work at the expense of full time.

Many readers asked for a breakdown of the figures – how they were arrived at – but of course, they are not forthcoming. And the way the government asks a nation to suspend disbelief and swallow this guff is not just astounding but also deeply insulting. From a dire employment situation in the last quarter and getting worse, suddenly we have the “highest employment ever”?

If they’d stuck to “improvement in figures”, more would have bought it but they didn’t – they claimed highest in recorded history.

Yeah, I have a battleship to sell you too.


Stop trying to deflect the course of argument.

the economy is smaller than it was in 2008

we are in a double dip recession, the worst double dip on record.
we have 1 million more unemployed than we did 9 years ago.
the numbers are fudged, public sector jobs reclassified as private sector, long term unmployed fall off the radar, full time jobs are replaced by part-time jobs and self employed on lower pay, this depresses the consumer market further.

lying about jobs is not a credible growth plan, we will never move out of this recession untill the structural problems are acknowledged and addressed.
there will be a triple dip next year, but we will still see fudged figures to bamboozle public opinion and buy more time for the incompetents in cabinet.


All you need to read is that part time jobs have increased but full time work has decreased. So the number of people in work and earning a livable wage has actually dropped and i wonder if the people working part time recieve benefits so the Government will crow about this but then start complaining about the benefit bill a double win for them.

… and:
Statistics can be easily massaged by simply shifting the welfare costs from one department to another. So technically, whilst there are less people claiming JSA, there may be a proportionate increase in training allowances for those participating in work based training schemes; alongside Working/Child Tax Credits which significantly increase the wages of those who agree to take part-time work. We must bear in mind that during the 1980’s and early 1990’s many people were shifted sideways onto Incapacity Benefit to reduce unemployment figures (sickness benefits costs were not publicised as they are now); giving the impression that the government at the time were successfully tackling a severe unemployment problem. This is why we have so many long term sickness benefit claimants (20 years+) clogging up our system up today.


How many people were temporarily employed for the Olympics, both in terms of on-site staff, security, organisation, private contractors like G4S, as well as local traders in the area, restaurants, pubs, hotels etc?
Presumably that’s going to increase the in-work figure for the quarter quite substantially and I’d assume that figure is probably around the 50,000, the same figure in which unemployment went down by.

Factor in workfare also. Has this had an affect?

Where is the breakdown of 50,000 fewer unemployed? How many lost their jobs compared to how many gained a job? Of these, what were full time, professional jobs and what were short term, non-permanent, lower paid roles?

Just releasing the overall figure isn’t good enough as it doesn’t mean anything without a bit of context.

Sorry – we’re not buying.


32 shops closing every day on Britain’s high streets

1 comment for “Government massages figures in miracle turnaround

  1. Rossa
    October 18, 2012 at 09:32

    Same trick they use in the US. But then there they ‘create’ jobs out of thin air by using the birth and death statistics to imagine how many people are in work. Same as the savings figures which seem to suggest that very American has at least $3,000 tucked away somewhere. Hmmm…

    Saw a report earlier this week where for every American getting a job, 10 were losing them, so net deficit of 9 people. Their welfare runs out after 2 years and after that it’s underpass city for the homeless which has increased enormously. And in the supposedly richest nation on Earth.

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