More working more not-working

Almost seven thousand more people are out-of-work in Brighton & Hove compared to the corresponding period last year. Government data released last week shows the UK with 31.4 million in-work, a rate of 74%, the highest figures ever, but in Brighton & Hove employment fell further from it’s September 2014 peak.

Chancellor George Osborne is happy

ONS data shows unemployment numbers in Brighton & Hove falling slightly but an increase of almost seven thousand in the  Economically-Inactive since last September.

When it comes to labour statistics The ONS puts everyone, aged 16-64, into one of three boxes. Anybody doing any paid work is Employed, Anybody actively looking for work is Unemployed. Everybody else is Economically-Inactive.
The main Economically-Inactive groups are unemployed students, people looking after home and family, retired people, the  long term sick and disabled.

The rise of the Inactive, in the city,  isn’t down to any particular group but seems to be a general trend. The ONS also estimates the Economically-Inactive who want to work. In the year up to September there was an increase of six thousand people who want a job but aren’t looking for one.

The majority of the –  Don’t-want-a-job people are home-makers, parents, carers and full-time students but who are the Out-of-work, who want to work but are not looking for work ? It’s an important question economically and may hide real poverty and real unemployment levels.

Catherine Barnham at the ONS says,  Child-care costs being higher than wages is a factor but we don’t ask

those who do not want a job and are not seeking one whether they are available to start work. Similarly, people who want a job but are not looking if they are available to start.

So we don’t know.

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