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Monday, April 17, 2006

This potential explanation from a Guardian article looking at the increase in unemployment:

"A more troubling analysis, floated by Ben Broadbent at Goldman Sachs, is that the increase in unemployment over the past year or so has been the result, not of a cyclical weakness in growth, but of a structural deterioration in the labour market prompted by a higher minimum wage, big rises in public-sector pay and higher taxes.

He admits that this view is open to challenge, not least because other factors - immigration, low trade union density - point the other way. Moreover, the lesson of the past 25 years is that big rises in unemployment have been the result of catastrophic macro-economic policy blunders that, one hopes, will not be repeated.

However, there is one man whose job prospects would be enhanced if there was the slightest suggestion that unemployment was going up because Labour had screwed up the supply side of the economy: David Cameron."

The potential rebuttals are, obviously, worthy of serious consideration, although I'm far from convinced that immigration levels are a particularly helpful indication of the economy's health from this perspective as they are skewed by so many social matters as well as direct Government policy and control.

This is definitely an area on which a careful eye should be kept. It's a concern I have had and have expressed for some years. For a while I think the negative connotations of being "unemployed", largely developed during the years of Thatcherism, was responsible for artificially deflating unemployment figures. At the same time it was much easier for the impact of Labour policies on the economy to be absorbed by a rapidly expanding number of people claiming disability benefits, an arguably less stigmatised way of claiming benefits. Perhaps we're now seeing this coming out in the wash.


At 2:35 am, Blogger Raw Carrot said...

We're definitely structurally screwed thanks to Labour.


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