what the stats really tell us (don’t rely on the government)

The SKWAWKBOX

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The Office of National Statistics (ONS) published its latest employment figures this week. As usual, the government latched onto any remotely positive figure that it could spin as proof of its ‘economic competence’ and the rightness of its policies. As usual under this government, the good news wasn’t really very good, and the reality was far darker and far bleaker – enough so politically, but far, far more for the ordinary people affected.

The government claimed that unemployment fell by 5,000 on the previous month, and most of the media dutifully echoed the ‘good news’. But the figures don’t stand up.

For most of last year, I published an analysis of the latest employment figures every month. The sheer volume of other things to write about, and the need to preserve some tiny semblance of an ordinary life, meant that I let that lapse a few months ago. But the…

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