Saturday, 8 October 2011

Lies, Damn Lies and a failure to understand.

I like numbers, you can do a lot with numbers but if you don’t do it properly they will make you look silly.

‘Every Little Helps’

In a local supermarket, which shall remain nameless as they all do the same, a pack of Ham which a few weeks back cost £1.98 is today still £1.98, no change there then but if you look at the pack and have a good memory you will see that a few weeks ago it weighed 142g and this week it weighed 132g in fact 7.5% less for your money,

A national news headline in September

‘Almost 400 job vacancies advertised by Jobcentre Plus go unfilled in Penzance the second highest total in four years.’

Not quite the full story. I went straight to the website for Job Centre Plus Penzance where only 280 jobs are listed, of these 91 are classed as regional including Bristol, the Midlands and North East. 44 are temporary, 2 self employed, of the remaining 131 only 54 are full time.

“A lost generation”

The grim stats are that about 750,000 18-24 year olds are unemployed, a rate of about 18%.
But on raw numbers, the 1990s were higher despite a smaller population. Fact.
Was that also a lost generation?
The youth unemployment rate is higher now. But the rate is not the unemployed share of all youths. It's the unemployed share of youths excluding those in education or otherwise unavailable for work.
So, oddly, if more go into education, the rate goes up, since the unemployed are a bigger fraction of the smaller number that remains. On raw numbers the 70s, 80s, & 90s where worst.

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