Posted: Aug 15, 2018 12:21 pm
by Thommo
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: ... 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.