|The News Line: Editorial
Thursday, 16 August 2012
Unemployment and slave labour – the bourgeois future for youth
‘UK unemployment falls to 2.56 million’, is the fraudulent headline, with Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith declaring: ‘It’s the private sector one should take our hats off to’ – making a sick joke out of the suffering of workers and youth under the conditions of the crisis of capitalism.
The number of people out of work fell by 46,000 to 2.56 million in the three months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), making for an unemployment rate of 8.0 per cent in place of the 8.2% of the previous quarter.
The ONS also said the number of people who were able to claim the Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 5,900 to 1.59 million in July. This is in the weeks before the start of the Olympic Games when unemployment by normal standards should have suffered a massive fall.
In fact, the games brought nothing to London and the UK in terms of jobs, it was just a big business sponsored circus. The reality is that the number of people working part-time because they could not get a full-time job has reached an all-time high!
Part-time working was up 16,000 in the three months to June to 1.42 million, which was the highest figure since records began in 1992.
Even the ONS pointed out that the overall figures were distorted in the run-up to the Olympics. The expectation is that the minor decrease in unemployment is short-lived and the numbers will rise again in August and September.
This is what Duncan Smith is thanking the private sector for.
In fact, the fall in the numbers of 16-24 year olds unemployed was minuscule. There were 1.01 million of them unemployed, down 4,000 from the three months to March.
‘The robustness of these figures is good news,’ said Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.
The alternative that Duncan Smith wants to give the youth is either unemployment or compulsory slave labour, as the latest figures make clear.
A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said that ‘Over the next three years the Youth Contract will offer nearly 500,000 opportunities for young people through work experience, apprenticeships and wage subsidies to help them find work.’
This is work for your dole or starve stuff.
The Resolution Foundation yesterday shed more light on the current situation. It stated: ‘If we look back over the last decade what we see appears rather scary. It’s very widely known that typical real wages have been falling post-crisis, and that they stagnated for some years prior to the recession across the wider working population.
‘But those aged 16-29 didn’t just experience stagnation – they saw a significant fall in wages, which has carried on since 2008: typical pay fell for this group by 6.4 per cent from 2003-2010, or 8.6 per cent for men. And if we add to this the typical wage squeeze that occurred across the working population in the annus horribilis of 2011 this suggests a wage fall of over 10 per cent for young people during 2003-2011. And it will get worse yet.’
It also finds that this is an international trend. Looking at the US, it states that: ‘Male high school graduates saw a 25 per cent fall in hourly wages between 1979 and 2011.’
It is capitalism and its crisis that is calling the tune that Duncan Smith finds so much to celebrate about – the cheap labour capitalist state, buttressed by a permanent reserve army of the youth and adult unemployed.
There is only one solution to the crisis of capitalism that the British working class, since 1945, has tried to reform away, in vain, as the current economic catastrophe makes clear.
That solution is the socialist revolution in the UK and throughout the planet.
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