unemployment - record number not working
WORKERS, OCT 2004 ISSUE
No fewer than 7.9 million people in Britain are now "economically inactive". This is the highest figure ever recorded, and equates to 21.5% of people of working age (16-65). 2.1 million of them want work. The big rise in the numbers of newly "economically inactive" workers is not due to there being more carers, or more single mums - it is because more people of all ages are without work.
This puts a different perspective on government boasts about the ever-diminishing level of unemployment. Even the official figure is now 1.41 million - which we would all have seen as scandalously high any time between 1945 and the advent of Thatcherism in 1979.