Unemployment Down but is the Jobs listed up?

In the UK, the Office of National Statistics is perhaps one of the most perculiuar departments of any goverment agency. In effect it is their job to take all the information the goverment has, file it in some dark database (and probly lose a copy in the process) and come to a conclusion.

Graph They estimate that employment is up and they estimate that unemployment is down.

So whats the problem with this, its good news isnt it?

  1. These figures are estimates.
  2. These figures are statistics.
  3. These figures are based purely on official goverment knowlege.

Estimates and statistics and information is a three way sword. Take out the statistics and you have an estimate about the information you have!

Goverment Statistics are based on job seekers allowance. This might sound like a good idea in practice however it has flaws. To be considered unemployed in the eyes of the goverment, you must be part of a special group of criteior.One of those being that your husband or civil partner is unemployed! So straight away we can throw out the couples whom earn too much to be officially unemployed.

Now lets imagine we’ve done a survey, cause we like statistics, so we went down to the weekly meeting of our local club called were a couple with one person working and found that 50% of them were listed as not officially unemployed. So our revised estimate is that unemployment is grossly under estimated statistically speaking at least.

Next, they will likely be counting the Job Center’s job listing as the other important factor in declaring how many jobs are out there. Yet, surely the jobs posted on facebook, msn, gumtree and many other social networking based sites should count too?

References:

Job Seeker Allowance

UK Jobless Claim Slips

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