They never read the small print …

Real unemployment may actually be UP this quarter:

The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 70.5 per cent for January-March 2012, up 0.2 on the quarter. There were 29.23 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 105,000 on the quarter. The quarterly increase in employment was entirely due to more part-time workers.

According to David Cameron, at PMQs today, this is “welcome“.

When Malcolm was involved in local government, the key figure on employment was FTE (full-time equivalent), lest the figure was distorted by part-time employees.

OK, Malcolm: where did you get that loony-Lefty interpretation?

Actually, from the Office for National Statistics.

Oh, and by the way:

For January-March 2012, total pay (including bonuses) rose by 0.6 per cent on a year earlier. This is the lowest growth rate since March-May 2009 and it is down 0.5 on the three months to February 2012. Regular pay (excluding bonuses) rose by 1.6 per cent on a year earlier, unchanged on the three months to February 2012. 

So, some comparisons with a year ago (all quoted directly from the ONS statistical bulletins):

Number actually working:

  • 2012: There were 29.23 million people in employment aged 16 and over
  • 2011:  … there were 29.24 million employed people.

Unemployment rate:

  • 2012: The unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent of the economically active population for January-March 2012
  • 2011:  The unemployment rate was 7.7 per cent 

Pay:

  • 2012: For January-March 2012, total pay (including bonuses) rose by 0.6 per cent on a year earlier.
  • 2011: Total pay (including bonuses) rose by 2.3 per cent on a year earlier.

One further detail:

Of the 45,000 drop in unemployment, 42,000 were men and just 3,000 were women.

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Filed under BBC, Conservative family values, David Cameron, economy, Guardian, politics, Tories.

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