Odd Jobbing from Larry Elliott

The Guardian has managed to turn a leaked Treasury PowerPoint forecasting lower unemployment  into a 1.3 million public sector jobs losses front page story. Larry Elliott, who really does know better, has ignored the same PowerPoint’s prediction of 2.5 million job gains in the private sector, giving a net gain of some 1.2 million jobs (as illustrated by the above chart). The Guardian chose not to front page the headline that the Treasury predicts 1.2 million job gains…

The Office for Budget Responsibility is equally clear in its forecast of lower unemployment

We expect employment to stabilise this year and to start rising in 2011. The ILO unemployment rate is expected to peak at just over 8 per cent in 2010, before falling gradually throughout the forecast period, to just over 6 per cent in 2014. The claimant count continues to decline, from 1½ million in 2010 Q1 to just over 1 million by the end of 2014 (Chart 3.12).

What is obvious to everyone is that the bloated public sector payroll is going to fall and a recovering private sector is expected to take up the slack. Larry has managed to set the news agenda today only by ignoring the whole story.  The loss making Guardian is of course the house-paper of the public sector, with pages full of advertisements for non-jobs.

The Guardian’s advertising revenues will be hit incredibly hard, to the tune of hundreds of millions pounds, by the public sector hiring freeze and the coming shift of public sector job advertising from their printed pages onto jobs.gov.uk.

A cynic might wonder if that perhaps helps to explain the paper’s editorial stance…



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Sky News ask a “Labour representative” where the local St George’s Day events are. He replies:

“You’re better off asking the UKIP candidate” 

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