Wednesday 13 December 2017

Jobs figures may be puzzling but they're still a very welcome gift

While unemployment has fallen sharply for the past three quarters, young people are not benefiting to the same degree as other groups
While unemployment has fallen sharply for the past three quarters, young people are not benefiting to the same degree as other groups

NEVER look a gift horse in the mouth, they say. Still, it is hard not to examine the teeth of this one closely. It cannot be for real, surely?

The figures on employment and unemployment from the Central Statistics Office are certainly as pretty a gift for the Coalition Government as will be found around any Christmas tree.

But if they are right, they are a gift for the rest of us too. Not only because it would mean more people are at work, and fewer looking for jobs, than would have seemed possible a couple of years ago. They will also instil confidence among households and business, as well as in the money markets where the country must now fund itself after the bailout. In that sense, the improvements will be self-reinforcing.

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