‘Total’ unemployment is 6.3 million
New analysis published by the TUC today shows that unemployment in the UK stands at 6.3 million, when using the American U6 measure of unemployment. While the UK has two common measures of joblessness, ILO unemployment (2.69 million) and the claimant count (1.6 million), the US uses six measures of joblessness that incorporate long-term unemployment, recent job losses, redundancies and under-employment, such as working part-time because full-time work isn’t available.
Using official UK government data, the TUC analysis has replicated the six measures of US unemployment and found that using the broadest measure of joblessness, U6 or ‘total’ unemployment in the UK is currently over 6.3 million. The highest it has been since records began in April 1993, when it was 6.1 million.
Total Unemployment compared to ILO unemployment
(Data in thousands)
While ILO unemployment (2.95 million in April 1993) was higher in the early 1990s than today, under-employment, people working part-time because they cannot find full time jobs is higher today at (1.3 million) than at any point since April 1993, when it stood at 802,000.
The analysis also shows that under-employment, people doing temporary or part-time jobs because they cannot find permanent or full-time work has risen to a record 1.9 million.
(Data in thousands)
The record levels of under-employment today show that the jobs crisis is far worse than the headline figures suggests, while involuntary part-time and temporary jobs are better than no work at all in most cases, these tend to be low-paid, insecure, have little or no career prospects and so not a sustainable way to solve the UK’s labour market problems.
The TUC is calling on the government to acknowledge the scale of the jobs crisis, rather than simply repeat the ill-informed claim that there are plenty of jobs out there and blaming the unemployed. It wants ministers to take action to get vital investment into the private sector so that it starts creating jobs, stop putting hundreds of thousands of public servants on the dole and boost job schemes to get younger people back into work.
|U1-U6 unemployment in the UK, April 1993-October 2011|