Official Statistics Just Can’t Be Trusted

Crime figures across the developed world have dropped much like those put out by police forces across the UK.  Whilst I admire statistics as the arithmetical adjunct of science, every time I look at figures produced by governments I blench,  A long-time believer in the German model of employment and employment relations – works councils, very superior training, manufacturing as more important than bwankstering and so on, I’ve just been shocked by a close look at their unemployment figures.

Official German unemployment is 7.3% at 3,081,000.  No doubt we’d swap.  But wait until you see just who is excluded from these numbers.  Everyone over 58 for a start – 374,592. – they can’t get unemployment benefit, but pre-retirement benefit (this in a world where we are told we’ll have to work until we drop).  Others excluded are in categories we are familiar with here

– Participants in “select measures of active labor market policies,” such as obtaining qualifications and professional training: 1,075,004.

– Participants in “activation” and “job integration” programs: 127,742

– Those in “preretirement-like ruling (special status)”: 106,973

– Participants in government-paid job training: 154,648

– People who are called in inimitable German, “1-Euro-Jobbers.” They perform tasks that are deigned communally useful, such as clearing snow from city streets in Leipzig: 133,298.

– Participants in language courses, integration courses, and other programs that are funded by agencies other than the Federal Labor Agency: 72,513

– Participants in citizens jobs programs: 21,823

– People who are difficult to find jobs for: 9,533

– Unemployed who are temporarily sick: 68,202

In total: 1,701,534.

Added to the headline number of the officially unemployed (3,081,706), we get a total of 4,783,240. And it does not include the underemployed who are stuck in part-time jobs but are looking for full-time jobs (probably on a form of tax credit)

Alas, in January, 5,394,064 people actually received unemployment compensation. So clearly, I must have missed a few categories.   The actual figure may be 5,768,656.  And what about those who aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation? While they receive “social aid” and other forms of support, they don’t count as unemployed.

3,081,000 is likely to be about half the real figure, so their unemployment is at 14.5%.  Sadly, I can do something similar with our figures.  In fact, when you do spot checks in areas you find unemployment at 25% plus even in places generally least affected like Woking and over 50% in Govan and the rest.


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