UK unemployment fell by 57,000 to 2.51 million in the three months to May, leaving the unemployed rate stuck at 7.8% in the UK, reports the Office for National Statistics.
The number of jobless in Scotland, however, rose by 8,000, to 205,000, in the quarter between March and May.
Unemployment also rose by 3,000 in Wales with 8.4% of the working population now jobless. Women were worst hit by rising unemployment as the number of women in Wales without jobs rises from 7.4% to 8%.
The ONS reported that the number of people claiming the Jobseeker’s Allowance in June in the UK fell by 21,200 to 1.48 million and, over the year, was down 117,700.
This fall is due to the continuing government pressure to find reasons for refusing to give the allowance to large numbers of job seekers.
Even the state’s Claimant Count counts the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) separately from the numbers of unemployed ‘as many unemployed people are not eligible for or do not claim Jobseeker’s Allowance’.
The ONS data showed that employment was up by 16,000 to a total of 29.7 million.
The number of people classed as economically inactive also increased in the latest quarter, up by 87,000 to a gigantic 9.04 million, a huge reserve army of labour. These millions are now having their benefits either slashed, or taken away completely by the Tory austerity drive.
There are now also over one million over 65s working, while just under one million youth are jobless.
Employment Minister Mark Hoban had the nerve yesterday to term this present chronic situation of British capitalism as ‘encouraging’.
He said: ‘The fall in the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits, together with the news that there are currently over half a million vacancies available in the UK economy, show that there are opportunities out there for those who are prepared to work hard, and who aspire to get on in life,’ he said.
His theme is that those who do not have jobs are not prepared to work hard and are deadbeats without any ambitions.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of the Unison union, said the figures would be little comfort to those people still struggling with unemployment.
‘Small relief in the unemployment figures will be no comfort to those struggling with the misery of long-term unemployment.’
The UCU pointed to a report that warned that one-third (36%) of young people not working or in education or training fear they will never find a job and two-fifths (40%) say they feel they are not part of society.
In fact, the ONS employment rate, which measures the percentage of people aged from 16 to 64 in work as 71.4%, reveals that 28.6% of 16-64s were not working.
It reported that the number of people who had been unemployed for over one year increased by 32,000 to reach 915,000 for March-May 2013, the highest figure since 1996.
Looking in more detail at the 915,000 people who were unemployed for over a year, it found that just over half (474,000) had been out of work and looking for work for over two years, the highest figure since 1997.
British capitalism is staggering along the bottom, awaiting the next capitalist banking and industrial collapse that will drive it even deeper into the abyss.
Meanwhile, it tries to preserve itself by pauperising the working class, with wage and job cuts, the youth who are denied a future and the sick and disabled who have to run a gauntlet in an attempt to retain part of their benefit.
There is only one cure for this sick and out-of-date society and that is a socialist revolution to replace the bankrupt capitalist system with socialism.