The real unemployment figure?

Stat of the day: 6.3 million - the 'real' number of unemployed people in the UK, according to figures by the TUC.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
You’d have thought unemployment would be one of the least complex figures to measure – surely you just count the number of people who don’t have jobs? Not so, reckons the TUC. It has come up with its own measure of unemployment, including those who are ‘economically inactive’ (have given up on looking for jobs) and people who have settled for part-time jobs because they couldn’t find full-time ones. And the grand total? 6.3 million – more than twice the official figure of 2.68m.

The Department for Work and Pensions, though, was defensive about the figures: ‘We firmly believe that being in some form of employment is better than being out of work,’ it said. Well, yes – but it’s not ideal.

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