THE Office for National Statistics said yesterday that UK unemployment rose by 48,000 to 2.67 million in the three months to December, pushing the unemployment rate up to 8.4%, the highest for 16 years.
The number of young people without a job rose 22,000 to 1.04m, taking the unemployment rate for 16-24 year-olds to a massive 22.2%.
Even with all of the measures that are being taken to keep off, or drive off unemployed workers from the Jobseeker’s Allowance, the number receiving the allowance rose in January by 6,900 to 1.6 million.
The ONS data also showed that average earnings increased by 2% in the year to December, unchanged from the previous month, making for a 2% wage cut when the rate of inflation over the year to December is taken into account.
Unemployment is set to increase to three million in the course of this year with the mass of youth facing being scrapped as soon as they leave school or graduate from university.
Indeed the coalition is making sure that youth understand that capitalism offers them a zero future with its wall to wall propaganda campaign that the best way for those of pensionable age to live happy lives free from want or loneliness is to carry on working!
In fact the outlook for all workers young and old is worsening under capitalism as the latest figures on the economy of the eurozone, the UK’s main trading partner, show.
Two of the eurozone’s biggest economies have slumped.
Italy and the Netherlands both saw their economies shrink by 0.7% in the fourth quarter, the second consecutive quarter of economic contraction.
Germany, the EU powerhouse and the world’s major exporter, had its first negative quarter since 2009 with a decline of 0.2%, compared with the previous quarter, and is facing another contraction in this quarter. The EU’s debt crisis has already pushed Greece, Portugal and Belgium into two consecutive quarters of economic contraction and slump.
The outlook for the UK, rich in failed and bankrupt banks but very poor as far as advanced manufacturing industries are concerned, is grim, especially since Moody’s has already warned that its Triple A status through which it carries on borrowing at lower rates of interest is now in danger.
It is, however, Greece that is showing the rest of Europe its immediate future.
The Greek people have made ‘superhuman’ efforts to comply with the requirements of the European Central Bank and the IMF, but ‘can’t take any more’ of the savage austerity measures, said Christos Papoutsis, the Greek Public Order Minister.
However the Eurozone financial chiefs are oblivious to all this suffering and have cancelled a meeting with Greek officials scheduled to agree to a further 130bn euro bailout, demanding further savage cuts.
To carry out this programme, Greece’s unelected government will have to be enlarged to become a military police government in the style of the Regime of Colonels of the 1970’s that used state violence and torture against workers.
The crisis has brought Greece to the brink of civil war where the Greek workers can only survive through imposing the dictatorship of the working class on society, by carrying out a socialist revolution.
Greece is being forced into default and part of the price will be banking and then industrial collapses throughout Europe, when workers everywhere will be told that Greek style savage wage cuts, job cuts and pay and pensions cuts have to be made.
The plain truth is that there is only one way out of this world crisis of capitalism for the working class.
It must carry out socialist revolutions that may well begin in Greece but will spread throughout Europe like wildfire. The best way to prepare for this imminent revolutionary situation is to build sections of the Fourth International throughout Europe to lead the European socialist revolution to its victory.