Richard Willis's Blog

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UK Unemployment Falls Sharply

The Government was boosted today by the news that unemployment has fallen by 88,000 over the three months to April this year. This is the biggest fall recorded in more than 10 years and is matched by the number in employment which rose by 80,000 over the same period. Commentators today have been suggesting that this may amount to evidence that the economy is doing much better than the official growth figures have suggested to date.

It is true that the claimant count has increased but this is now accepted as an unreliable measure and may reflect the fact that some unemployed people who had wrongly been claiming disability benefits are being moved onto the correct benefit.

The figures support some anecdotal evidence that the construction sector particularly, has been growing more strongly than the Office for National Statistics has so far measured. It will also been seen as evidence that the Government’s view that the private sector would take up the slack being created by cuts and job losses in the public sector, is being borne out on the ground. It will be interesting to see whether the ONS revises previously published growth figures upwards over the next few months!


June 15, 2011 - Posted by | National


  1. This is great news. If this trend continues we’ll eventually have the number of unemployed stated as a negative figure?

    Comment by Gideon Mack | June 18, 2011 | Reply

  2. I read the link and noticed an article at the bottom concerning the last British train maker , Bombadier, who have lost out on a major contract to supply 1200 rail carriages for the Thameslink project. 3,000 jobs are at direct risk in Derby along with who knows how many others that are in the supply chain and related spin off industry.
    The victors for the contract………Siemens,a German company, which kind of says it all when you look at the UK’s current position. As a country we absolutely must avoid exporting our job opportunities. The Germans must think we are mad ! It is without doubt that the German economy is much better placed than Britain’s because its industrial base is so much bigger. No doubt they have looked after their own industries.
    I watched the Panorama programme recently , which was concentrating on Ryll in North Wales and the efforts to get people into work. Lots of effort put into various schemes including one where £200,000 of public money built/revamped a cafe where to get a job the applicant had to be long term unemployed , and it was obvious that the employees were very happy with their new found opportunity. However all the jobs shown were in industries that were service based; cafe, market ,retail. You can only create so many of these , it is the base industries that need to be encouraged. We should be aiming to manufacture many more goods in the UK .
    The UK is still in deepest money trouble , borrowing (I believe ) a further £10 billion in April. There is an awful long way to go to put things right and wealth creation industry that takes people off the dole is desparately needed.

    Comment by Howard Thomas | June 18, 2011 | Reply

  3. Further to that is the construction of the massive off shore wind farms in the North sea, Again Siemen is supplying much of the equipment, and it would appear that the Danes ,Norwegians,Dutch and Belgians are having a nice little earner at the expense of the British taxpayer by creating wind farms to supply electricity to a French energy company who will sell it to the British consumer. So whether you believe in the climate change ‘religion’ or not , the number of jobs being created in the ‘green economy’ in the UK is pitifully small , while foreign interests are filling their boots !
    The only major wind turbine manufacturer in the UK shut down not long ago. Why are we not using this industry to create “British jobs for British workers” as Gordon Brown famously boasted?

    Comment by Howard Thomas | June 19, 2011 | Reply

  4. Within my job, over the last few years I have dealt with many organisations moving their manufacturing to anywhere other the the UK. Pfizer in Kent, Linde Materials Handling in Basingstoke and Boehringer Ingleheim in Bracknell to name but three.

    Are wages the only criteria upon which a ‘foreign’ company bases it’s decisions on where to make their goods? We seem to repell as opposed to attract foreign manufacturing money.

    When I grew up, Triumph and Norton were names to be proud of; now they’re niche players and buying a motorbike is a choice of which Japanese model suits your pocket best. Try to spot a vehicle in France operated by a local or national authority that isn’t a Renault, Peugeot or Citroen – it’s as simple as that.

    Reading Borough Council and all other authorities have their hands tied when purchasing street cleaning, public transport or waste collection vehicles. Even if they wanted to buy a British dustcart with British lifting equipment the Terberg, Faun and Geesink rivals would be bettter, cheaper and more reliable. We have killed our choice by letting it wither on the vine.

    Comment by Gideon Mack | June 19, 2011 | Reply

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