Discuss the extent and causes of unemployment and inactivity in the UK today. To what extent does the Coalition Government’s recent welfare-to-work reform The Work Programme provide a credible solution to tackling these challenges?
An economy population can be divided into two groups, the economically active and those economically inactive. The Economically Active is referred to the part of a countries’ population that is willing and able to work. This includes those that are unemployed and those that are currently and actively engaged in a particular job. The rate of unemployment is defined as the percentage of the unemployed that are unemployed and actively seeking for one. In this essay, I am going to discuss the extent of unemployment in the UK today. I am going to critically address the extent of unemployment by comparing geographical regions, sex, race, age groups and educational achievement. Then in order to conclude the extent of unemployment, I will argue about the true level of unemployment questioning both the weaknesses LSF and Claimant Count in measuring these challenges. The second section of this essay, I will state the 3 causes of unemployment in the UK and 3 reasons for inactivity. Then I shall evaluate the credible of the Coalition’s The Work Programme. Unemployment occurs when a person who is actively searching for work but unable to find one. In the UK today the current rate of unemployment is 8.3% according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). It shows that there is a 17years high unemployment in the UK. The ‘UK unemployment rose by 129,000 in the three months to September to 2.62 million’ also ‘youth unemployment is now at 1.02 million’. There are four main types of unemployment. There are two different measure of unemployment in the UK today. They are the Claimant Count and International Labour Organisation (ILO) LFS survey. The Claimant count is UK’s most timely measure. It measures the amount of people who are claiming benefit but are actively seeking employment. It does not take into consideration of those on disability benefit neither does it take account of people who do not claim the allowance. ILO makes use of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) to measures everyone without a job and has looked for work in the past four weeks and willing to start work in the next two weeks. ‘Unemployed persons include those who did not work at all during the survey week, and who were looking for work’. The faults in these two measures bring up the question of the extent and the true level of unemployment in the UK today. The Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) is means-tested and it depends on household income, this means husband or wife who have partner earning above a certain income are not included. It also does include people under the age of 18, therefore excluding 16 and 17 years olds who left education at post-16, this part of the economy should not be ignored by the JSA because these groups of individuals usually have low-levels of human capital there for potentially high unemployment rate amongst these groups. High youth unemployment shows underlying structural problems in the UK today. Therefore the JSA does not represent the true level of unemployment because there are people seeking work and are not included in JSA or/and counted as unemployed. The official measure also has its own faults. The LFS survey is a monthly questionnaire of 60,000 people. They are asked if they have been searching for work and would be able to take up work in the next two weeks. This measure usually gives a higher figure than the claimant count. Although the questions asked sticks to the UK’s definition of unemployment there are also problems with the measure. The survey has potential for error in sampling data in sampling 60,000 people and even most importantly people might not actually say the truth about their situation. Apart from the faults in the measures of unemployment, another issue is that there is a possibility...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document