Unemployment rises in North West while national figures drop

Figures released by the Office of UK National Statistics last week show that 294,000, or 8.6 per cent of, people in the North West are unemployed.

This is contrary to the national trend where the total number of people in employment is now at a new record high and the North West TUC believe this shows just how hard hit the region is.

Lynn Collins, NW TUC regional secretary, said: “The North West is feeling the effects of the government’s austerity agenda. It’s clear proof that more needs to be done and that the government’s plans just aren’t working.

“Despite cutting public sector jobs and the slow growing economy that isn’t creating the jobs the government predicted, the Coalition seems to have run out of ideas. We need an alternative economic model that delivers good sustainable jobs and we need a jobs guarantee for every unemployed young person.

“A rise in unemployment comes on top of a cost of living crisis, with rising costs alongside real term wage cuts and an increase in the use of food banks and pay day lenders. It’s difficult for anyone to claim that this is working for people in the North West.”

The release of the figures coincided with a change in the law which means that anyone making a new claim for Job Seekers Allowance will have to sign a Claimant Commitment. The commitment will see jobseekers having to account more clearly for their efforts to find work in order to receive their benefits.

This will roll out in around 100 jobcentres a month until it’s fully implemented across the county in the spring.

Unemployment fell nationally, but it’s still 10 percent or more in 28 metro areas

The national unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a percentage point from August to September to 7.2 percent, but nearly 30 metropolitan regions are still suffering from high unemployment.

The elevated unemployment in those areas is a feature of what has been an uneven recovery in many ways. While 28 metro areas had unemployment at or above 10 percent, 41 others had rates below 5 percent in August, according to new government data that came out Monday. The upshot is that most of metropolitan areas tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics — 311 of the 372 — saw unemployment decline from the year before.

The nation's 49 most-populous metro areas — those with a population of one million or more — followed a similar trend. Most saw unemployment decline, while only five saw unemployment increase.

California was home to the most metro areas with unemployment at or above 10 percent. Nearly half — 13 of 28 — were in that state. Illinois was home to four of those areas, while Arizona, New Jersey and Texas each hosted two metro areas with unemployment of 10 percent or more. North Carolina, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Georgia and Florida each had one metro area with similarly high unemployment rates in August.

October Jobs Report -US: Sluggish Economic Progress at Best

The partial government shutdown delayed the release of the October jobs report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The headlines were that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 148,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate was roughly 7.2 percent, down a statistically insignificant 1 percent from August’s 7.3 percent. Unemployment for Asians was 5.3 percent, for whites 6.3, Latinos 9.0, and blacks 12.9 percent.

Overall, it looked like nothing much changed in September. There were still 4.1 million Americans who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, classified as long-term unemployed. The civilian labor force participation rate was still around 63.2 percent, and the number of people working part-time for economic reasons; that is, classified as involuntary part-time workers, was 7.9 million. The average workweek was also pretty much unchanged at 34.5 hours.

With the jobs numbers all but assured to show a downward jolt in the next jobs report, and if the nation’s political leadership can’t get its act together to show forward progress toward the next fiscal deadlines, the economy will be in trouble. Nonprofits on the front lines are undoubtedly seeing the impact of the sluggish economy right now in the communities they serve. The economy hasn’t turned around by a long shot. The pattern looks like it is devolving into a new normal of low job creation numbers, low labor force participation, high long-term unemployment, and too many economically-necessitated part-time jobs.

Analyzing IT Security Employment Stats

The numbers are statistically unreliable because the sample size for information security analysts is extremely small. Yet, BLS economists suggest aggregating four quarters worth of data to create an annualized figure - still technically unreliable - is more dependable than just a single quarter's result. For well over a decade, I've analyzed BLS IT and IT security employment data and found that to be a good indicator of the labor market. They're far from precise, but they do provide a reasonable portrait of employment condition.

Stats Suggest Dip in Workforce Size

Here's what the numbers show on an annualized basis:

In the third quarter of 2013, BLS categorized 53,500 workers in the United States, including 51,500 employed and 2,000 out of work, as IT security analysts, resulting in an IT security unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, the same rate for the entire IT occupation.

The IT security workforce last quarter fell from 56,800 in the second quarter, when 55,000 workers were employed and 1,800 were jobless, for a 3.1 percent unemployment rate.

Even with our sluggish economy, you'd expect to see a rise in IT security employment because of the high demand for security expertise in government and business. Don't take a single quarter, even annualized, as a well-tuned gauge, but look at the longer trend it represents. There isn't much data to look at; BLS has only been providing IT security employment data since 2011.

Still, in 2011, the IT security workforce in the United States totaled 45,000. That means, in nearly two years, the number of people working as information security analysts has risen substantially. Again, don't take these statistics as gospel, but they likely reflect the trend that more people are moving into IT security jobs.

The apparent low unemployment rate in this sector, even if accurate, is considered full employment, and small jobless rates often reflect churn in the job market.

The numbers in this report come from the government's Current Population Survey of American households that produces the monthly unemployment rate, but the sample size is too small to be deemed statistically reliable because very few households have someone living in them who work in IT security. BLS Economist Karen Kosanovich explains that occupations, such as information security analysts, with a base of fewer than 50,000 individuals for annual averages and 75,000 for quarterly averages, don't meet the bureau's publication standards.

Perhaps the recent decline in the number of network and computer systems administrators, based on an analysis of BLS stats, to an annualized 217,000 this past quarter from 243,800 in 2011 can be partly attributed to the growth in IT security employment.

One thing seems all but certain: The IT workforce in the United States is on the rise, reaching an annualized 4.47 million, and many of those workers require varying degrees of IT security know-how.

French September Jobless Figures to Rise after Computer Error in August

PARIS--France's Labor Minister warned Wednesday that the country's jobless figures will show an increase in September as there was an error in the data for August because of a computer bug which prevented the inclusion of many jobseekers from the statistics.

Employment figures for September, scheduled for release Thursday, "won't be good for a very simple reason: as you well know, in August there was a statistical incident related to a bug at SFR, which has increased the decline in August and will boost the increase in September," Michel Sapin said Wednesday in an interview with local radio Europe1.

SFR, a mobile phone operator owned by Vivendi SA (VIV.FR), said last month there had been a problem in the sending of text and vocal messages used by the unemployment agency to remind job seekers to update their status. As a result of the bug, many unemployed people were removed from the statistics, the labor ministry said.

The ministry now estimates that the number of category A job seekers--registered job seekers who are fully unemployed- -fell in August by between 22,000 and 29,000--or between 0.7% and 0.9%--and not by 50,000, or 1.5%, as officially reported last month.

The reported decline in the jobless figures in August was a shot in the arm for President Francois Hollande, who has pledged to halt the rising unemployment rate by the end of 2013.

Migrants not a drain on economy: UNESCO Reports

Migrants are not a drain on urban economies but provide cheap labour, thus contributing to the country’s gross domestic product in a significant, though unrecognised, manner, a report released by the UNESCO on Thursday said.

According to the National Sample Survey organisation, as much as 30 per cent of India’s population, or 326 million people, are internal migrants as of 2007-08. Of this 70.7 per cent are women.

Interestingly, Tier-II cities have a larger migrant population than the metro cities, which are seen as the top draw for migrants. Leading the race, a huge 58 per cent of the population in Surat is made of migrants, closely followed by Ludhiana (57 per cent), Faridabad (55 per cent), Nashik (50 per cent) and Pune (45 per cent). Mumbai and Delhi each have about 43 per cent migrants.

With cities remaining hostile towards internal migrants, this poorly-paid population faces a number, including, “lack of formal residency rights; lack of identity proof; lack of political representation; inadequate housing; insecure or hazardous work; extreme vulnerability of women and children to trafficking and sex exploitation; exclusion from state-provided services such as health and education and discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, class or gender,” the report notes.

The UNESCO report, Social Inclusion of Internal Migrants, notes that policy makers and urban planners view migration, which is beset by the myth that migrants steal jobs from locals, as a negative process and have created an inconducive and unsupportive environment for them.

It adds that typically internal migrants are engaged in “dirty, dangerous and degrading jobs, which is different to stealing jobs.”

Source: thehindubusinessline.com

Indians get visa-free or VoA access in 52 nations

London: British citizens enjoy the widest range of visa-free travel in the world, being able to visit 173 countries with just a passport, while Indians get visa-free or visa-on-arrival access in 52 countries.

The UK citizens are at par with those from Finland and Sweden for visa-free access, according to Henley & Partners Visa Restriction Index.

Nine out of the top ten in the index are European Union countries, with the tenth being the United States.

India figures 74th on the list while Afghanistan comes at the bottom of the table, with only 28 countries available for entry without visa. Iraqi passport holders can go to 31 countries while Pakistan and Somalia are tied at the third from the bottom with 32.

According to passport information from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 52 countries and territories provide visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to holders of Indian passports.
Twenty-eight countries and territories are accessible visa-free.

Where visa-free access is permitted, such access is not necessarily a right, and admission may technically be at the discretion of border enforcement officers. Visitors engaging in activities other than tourism, including unpaid work, may require a visa or work permit.

Indian citizens do not need a visa to travel and work in Nepal or Bhutan. The country of residence is a factor in determining the visa requirements for Indian passport holders when visiting some countries.

For example, an Indian citizen residing in the US holding a permanent resident permit (Green Card) does not need a visa to travel to Canada, Mexico and many countries and territories in the Caribbean.

Indian citizens resident in Japan with valid Alien Registration Cards can travel to the Republic of Korea (South Korea) for tourism and short business trips.