The number of people claiming jobseekers allowance fell to 1.48m in the last quarter. Not bad for an economy facing the harshest world recession on record. Labour managed to keep unemployment down.
The numbers claiming unemployment benefit under the Tories was well above 2m for most of the 1980s. Labour by comparison kept the unemployment count below 1m for most of the 2000-2010 period.
At a comparable point in the economic cycle (i.e. just coming out of recession) unemployment claimants reached 2.7m in 1983 (continuing to rise for another 3 years afterwards to 3.1m) and reaching 3m again in 1992 under the Tories. This was despite a huge massaging of the figures and the Tories now openly admit to encouraging doctors to move 2m of the unemployed onto disability benefits. The long term effects of which we are still dealing with today.
The Tories are just about to put up to 750,000 public sector workers on the dole in the next 2 years (despite the private sector showing no sign of revival to take up the slack). Of course the cutbacks to the public sector will also have a knock on effect to private companies. Expect the unemployment count to hit 4m actual CLAIMANTS - a truly frightening figure. (Note the ONS also publish a survey (not widely published in the 80s and 90s) to quantify those unemployed but not claiming - currently 2.47m, this could go over 5m in the next 2 years as a result of the proposed ConDem cutbacks).
The truth about unemployment is that Labour kept it at half the number the Tories did and will. The Tories blight lives. It's funny how 'efficiency' gains tend to mean cuts in refuse collectors, nurses, doctors, police, social workers, care workers and other frontline staff. We were led to believe that there was plenty of harmless cuts that wouldn't affect services, instead we get charge rises in care homes etc and benefit cuts to the poorest including child benefit. The promised VAT rise will also cause more unemployment and hardship and inevitable inflation and interest rate rises evicting more people from their homes. The age of misery is about to be upon us.