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?