Published Wednesday, 14 March 2012
One says unemployment is continuing to rise albeit slowly and the other shows a drop in the jobless rate.
For what it is worth, I suspect that the jobseekers figures tell the true story.
No, the puzzle for me is the discovery that the total number in employment at 805,000 is the highest ever recorded. Surely that can't be so. Aren't we still in the middle of a recession?
Don't the figures, at least the jobseekers numbers, show that more people are out of work, not in work?
Actually, although many believe that statistics can be used to prove anything, there is no contradiction between rising unemployment and rising employment. If more people are coming into the job market than you are generating jobs for, then the unemployment rate will rise.
That's not the real mystery. The confusing aspect of this is why the number of jobs is going up at all.
And now we're back to the issue of the economy. Is there a real recovery happening out there that is not being spotted?
Perhaps! (but I doubt it).
It may be that lots of part time jobs are being created which, by the way, are still counted as jobs.
It could be that the public sector has managed to hold on to many more posts that some commentators expected it to. There are various explanations but the truth is that a convincing account has yet to be aired.
Surely some of the economists at DETI could rustle up a paper on all this.