Well yes Polly

Next myth: there are growing legions of families where no one has ever worked, Shameless for generations. But here are the facts from the Office for National Statistics, well spotted by Channel 4 News. Long-term unemployment hasn\’t risen – it has fallen tenfold over the last decade. In 2000 47,700 had claimed jobseeker\’s allowance for five years or more. By this year there are only 4,220 long termers. Research by LSE Professor John Hills shows low earners in the bottom 20% move in and out of insecure work in temporary jobs, never getting their foot on a ladder. The growth of agency work consigns willing workers to a life revolving through the jobcentre door. That is not Cameron\’s \”benefits culture\”: it is a miserable, underpaid culture of outsourced jobs with no future.

So therefore the growth of temporary agency work has cut the number of long term unemployed.

Good thing then, eh?

As Richard Layard has been saying for decades, we\’ve absolutely got to get the long term unemployed reconnected with the labour force. Doesn\’t matter all that much how or how tenuously, but we do have to get them reconnected. Which is exactly what that agency work you so deride does: so why the derision?

8 comments on “Well yes Polly

  1. Two points here, aren’t there?

    One: we’ve cut the bill to taxpayers. Yay.

    Two: we’ve made life much worse for people who used to be long-term unemployed. Before, they had virtually no financial security; now, they still have virtually no financial security *and* have to spend 40 hours a week doing a crap job.

    If I were in their position, I’d be pissed off too…

  2. @ John b – how are they ever going to reach any measure of financial security unless they work they way through the jobs market? Not to mention, why should A do a shit job all day and pay taxes to support B who just sits on his arse?

  3. “Antisthenes // Feb 19, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I suspect that most of the long term unemployed have moved from unemployed to incapacity.

    The fact that Polly doesn’t shows how stupid she is.

  4. @ john b
    If they spend 40 hours a week doing a crap job that is because they choose to do so and they get paid a lot more than JSA – unless they are self-employed in which case they can spend 50 or 60 hours a week and find that they end up with less than a teenage job-sharer in the local council offices.
    If you think that is the former group should be dissatisfied, it suggests that your sympathies are with the work-shy rather than with the guys who want to earn a living if they can find a job.
    Among Brown’s many crimes was closing down a majority of the Remploy factories: if ANYONE should be “pissed off” (in your vulgar phrase) it should be those laid by Remploy who have no chance to get another job.

  5. Your sympathies are with the work-shy rather than with the guys who want to earn a living if they can find a job.

    Well, of course. “Work-shy” is the same as saying “rational person”; if I could enjoy a standard of living that I viewed as acceptable without ever having to do a stroke of work again, then of course I’d take that option without a second’s thought, and I’d view anyone who chose otherwise as deranged.

    That doesn’t mean that we *should* subsidise the work-shy by extorting money from the hardworking. Just, Polly’s correct to say that working is much worse than being on the dole; and anyone who claims that the formerly-unemployed have benefited from the changes is lying.

  6. If you’ve given someone £10 a day for years for doing sweet Fanny Adams, (and ain’t she lovely), then they are going to be upset when you stop. That doesn’t mean they have any right to be angry about it though.

    There is also the point that by encouraging people to do sod all for a long time you are doing them no great favours.

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