Socialist Worker

Real unemployment figure hits 3.5 million in Britain

by Sarah Ensor
Issue No. 2319

A new report shows that the real rate of unemployment in Britain is higher than at any time since 1997.

The Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam university said that the real level of unemployment in Britain is nearly 3.5 million. It points out that this is “almost a million more than the highest official estimate”.

Professor Steve Fothergill led the research. He told Socialist Worker that “it suited successive governments to hide the true scale of unemployment because [the official figures] reflected well on their unemployment policies”.

Many people who should appear in the unemployment figures were removed because they receive incapacity benefit.

The government insists that there are enough jobs to go round. But the figures say otherwise.

Steve Fothergill says, “Our figures on unemployment cast serious doubt on the likely impact of the government’s Work Programme and Universal Credit. They assume that unemployment can be brought down simply by encouraging people to look for work.”

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Tue 4 Sep 2012, 17:52 BST
Issue No. 2319
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