UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

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UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#1  Postby Keep It Real » Aug 14, 2018 12:34 pm

UK unemployment fell by 65,000 to 1.36 million in three months to June - the lowest for more than 40 years, official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show......It also said the number of people aged 16 to 64 who were not working, looking for work or available to work - what is known as "economically inactive" - increased by 77,000 from the first quarter of the year.
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#2  Postby Sendraks » Aug 14, 2018 12:36 pm

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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#3  Postby zulumoose » Aug 14, 2018 12:54 pm

So if you are looking for work in the U.K. what this means is you are competing against fewer people who are also looking than at any time in 40 years, even though the actual number of unemployed people of working age is increasing?

Increasing because larger and larger numbers of them are not in the market at all?
Is that a good thing (more stay-at-home-by-choice spouses and parents for e.g.)
Or a bad thing (more Roman artists (roaming the roads and drawing the dole))
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#4  Postby I'm With Stupid » Aug 14, 2018 1:08 pm

That must be why wages are so high then.

This is the biggest fudge since Labour put everyone on disability so they weren't technically unemployed.
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#5  Postby zulumoose » Aug 14, 2018 1:14 pm

If it were true, the proof would be in the average time each work-seeker spends between jobs dropping, and the average age at which a school leaver is first employed also dropping.

Statistics like that would be more believable, and not influenced by those who are not in the market.
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#6  Postby laklak » Aug 14, 2018 3:36 pm

It's all in the definitions, innit? Don't like your high unemployment figures? Redefine "unemployed".
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#7  Postby Keep It Real » Aug 14, 2018 4:31 pm

Economic activity is, as a general rule, bad for the environment, so I guess the less people work the better in that aspect.
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#8  Postby LucidFlight » Aug 14, 2018 4:48 pm

What if you employ more people to look after the environment?
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#9  Postby Keep It Real » Aug 14, 2018 4:56 pm

Not much profit in that usually, unfortunately - ill-defined property rights RE public goods, see (especially global public goods (ie. the sea level)).
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#10  Postby Macdoc » Aug 14, 2018 5:20 pm

1929 anyone?
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#11  Postby Keep It Real » Aug 14, 2018 5:52 pm

Don't worry, the robots will make our food and clothes, you might have further trouble still selling that delightful boat however.
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#12  Postby Keep It Real » Aug 14, 2018 5:59 pm

ETA - no, soz, it's Lak with the boat, you might have trouble with some of your airtravel then.
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#13  Postby Macdoc » Aug 15, 2018 6:36 am

why ever? :scratch:
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#14  Postby Thommo » Aug 15, 2018 12:21 pm

zulumoose wrote:So if you are looking for work in the U.K. what this means is you are competing against fewer people who are also looking than at any time in 40 years, even though the actual number of unemployed people of working age is increasing?

Increasing because larger and larger numbers of them are not in the market at all?
Is that a good thing (more stay-at-home-by-choice spouses and parents for e.g.)
Or a bad thing (more Roman artists (roaming the roads and drawing the dole))


I'm not quite sure what your question is really getting at. No country's unemployment rate is defined to count everyone who is not in work (whether of working age or not), there are a host of reasons for that which are mostly valid (e.g. injured, long term sick, homekeepers and others not looking for work) and some that are not so valid. But nonetheless countries including Britain do keep that information, it's just a different measure.

It's known as the employment rate:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/empl ... ecord-high

To say that the absolute value of the number in or out of work increases or decreases would also, of course, be inherently flawed as a measure, as it does not account for total population, which changes over time, or the proportion of the population that is of working age. Nonetheless, that figure is also recorded and available.

I agree with some of the comments (and indeed the subtitle of this thread that unemployment isn't the whole picture is very apt) that successive governments fiddle the definitions for short term political gain, but there's a pretty robust data set collected by the ONS for those who have the inclination and time to look.
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#15  Postby zulumoose » Aug 15, 2018 12:45 pm

I thought my question was quite clear.

The given data indicates that there are fewer unemployed people who are looking for work, yet the number of people of working age who are not employed is increasing.

This can only mean, if true, that a higher percentage are unemployed by choice.
Unless vast numbers have been recently disqualified due to something general like age limit changes which seems unlikely.

So if more are choosing not to work, what does that indicate?
Is it a good thing in that (for eg) more households are able to choose to run on single incomes because they want to?
Is it a bad thing in that too much welfare is encouraging the youth and others who should be productive to leech off the state?
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#16  Postby Thommo » Aug 15, 2018 2:00 pm

zulumoose wrote:The given data indicates that there are fewer unemployed people who are looking for work, yet the number of people of working age who are not employed is increasing.

This can only mean, if true, that a higher percentage are unemployed by choice.


That's not correct because the total population is increasing. Which means strictly you can deduce either:

(a) The same percentage are unemployed by choice; or
(b) A lower percentage are unemployed by choice; or
(c) A higher percentage are unemployed by choice.

Which isn't particularly informative. And I'm not actually sure about whether the antecedent (that the number of people of working age who are not employed is increasing - and I'll note quickly at this point another complication of employment figures that many people of working age are in full time education) is true.

zulumoose wrote:Unless vast numbers have been recently disqualified due to something general like age limit changes which seems unlikely.

So if more are choosing not to work, what does that indicate?


I think this is getting ahead of ourselves. In relative terms this isn't true (the employment rate is at a record high). In absolute terms it's unclear if this is true, but due to population growth our explanation - if one was required - would reside there anyway. If you have 10% more stay at home mums because you have 10% more families, there's not very much in need of analysis.

Edit: Typos.
Last edited by Thommo on Aug 15, 2018 2:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#17  Postby felltoearth » Aug 15, 2018 2:01 pm

There can be any reason for people of working age to not be employed. School for instance.
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#18  Postby Thommo » Aug 15, 2018 2:04 pm

felltoearth wrote:There can be any reason for people of working age to not be employed. School for instance.


Exactly, this is one of the fundamental problems with using a single measure of unemployment. When society shifts from having 20% of people in education from age 18 to 21 to 55% of people in education from age 18 to 21, this will have a significant effect on unemployment measures, but it is qualitatively very different from people not being able to find work, particularly in that the one is generally seen as very desirable and the sign of a strong economy and the other is generally very undesireable and the sign of a weak economy.
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#19  Postby Thommo » Aug 15, 2018 3:23 pm

Update to #16:

After a little searching I found this:
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulation ... n/july2017
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Which shows that the working age (16 to 64) population grew from 39.5 million in 2006 to 41.4 million in 2016 and is forecast to rise to 42.4 million by 2026.

This quantifies the approximate rate in the growth of the working age population, at least.
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Re: UK unemployment at lowest since 1975

#20  Postby GrahamH » Aug 15, 2018 4:50 pm

Thommo wrote:… 55% of people in education from age 18 to 21 … is generally very undesireable and the sign of a weak economy.



Do I read you right there? An interesting point. What is the basis for it?

Couldn't a high level of education go along with a strong economy?
Why do you think that?
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